ABSTRACT: Due to the intermittent nature of most renewable energy sources (such as solar and wind), practical large scale renewable energy utilization demands both efficient energy conversion and large scale energy storage or alternative usage. Earth-abundant but highly active and selective electrocatalysts are needed to enable efficient and sustainable production of energy using electrocatalytic and photoelectrochemical (PEC) energy conversion. We developed earth-abundant electrocatalysts, such as exfoliated nanosheets of MoS2 and ternary pyrite-type cobalt phosphosulfide (CoPS), for highly efficient hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Exfoliated nanosheets of NiCo and NiFe layered double hydroxides (LDHs) and trimetallic NiFeCr LDH have enhanced oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Furthermore, efficient photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation systems that integrate these earth-abundant electrocatalysts with efficient semiconductor materials have been rationally designed and demonstrated. The increasingly affordable renewable electricity can also drive electrochemical production of value-added chemicals. For example, biomass-derived molecules, such as HMF and glycerol, can be upgraded to value-added chemicals using metal oxide/hydroxide electrocatalysts. I will highlight our recent work on combining computations and experiments to demonstrate cobalt pyrite (CoS2) as a selective catalyst for two-electron oxygen reduction reaction (2e- ORR) to make H2O2. This discovery opens up the search for more active and selective earth-abundant 2e- ORR electrocatalysts to enable decentralized on-site electrochemical production of H2O2 for industrial and environmental applications.
BIO: Prof. Song Jin received his B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in 1997, Ph.D. in 2002 from Cornell University under the direction of Prof. Francis J. DiSalvo and carried out his postdoctoral research under the direction of Prof. Charles M. Lieber at Harvard University. Dr. Jin is interested in the chemistry, physics and technological applications of nanoscale and solid-state materials. Dr. Jin developed innovative synthesis of a variety of nanomaterials including metal chalcogenides, oxides, silicides, and halide perovskites, and discovered and developed the screw dislocation-driven growth of nanomaterials. Building on the fundamental understanding of novel physical properties, Jin advances the exploitation of (nano)materials for electrocatalysis, solar energy conversion, energy storage, optoelectronics, nanospintronics, and biotechnology. A unifying theme of Jin’s energy research is the focus on earth-abundant materials. Dr. Jin has authored or co-authored over 200 publications and 7 patents. He has been recognized with a NSF CAREER Award, a Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award and as one of world’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35 (TR35 Award) by the MIT Technology Review Magazine, the ACS ExxonMobil Solid State Chemistry Fellowship, and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, U. of Wisconsin-Madison Vilas Associate Award and H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, and the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award. He also serves as a Senior Editor for ACS Energy Letters.