Dr. Valentin Briega
Electrochemical Energy Conversion
AdresseForschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy
One of the main origins of the degradation of Pt electrocatalysts in fuel cells is the electrochemical oxidation of Pt and the reduction of the subsequently formed ultrathin oxide films, which lead to Pt dissolution and surface restructuring. Therefore, the detailed understandings of the atomic-scale mechanisms of Pt oxidation is essential for developing strategies in order to avoid Pt catalyst degradation in fuel cells.
My work at the Electrochemical Energy Conversion team, as a part of the DFG project in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Olaf Magnussen (Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiel), will be focused in the systematic investigation of the oxidation, oxide reduction, and dissolution of Pt single crystal electrodes and shape-controlled Pt nanoparticles. For this research the main experimental techniques that will be used are mass spectrometry covering a wide range of oxidation parameters (potential-time program, solution composition and temperature) as well as surface X-ray scattering. The obtained results, in combination with density functional theory (DFT) calculations with collaborating groups, will provide detailed information about the microscopic atomic-mechanism.
My other research interests include the fundamental studies of electrocatalytic reactions of interest by investigating the effect of different parameters such as the electrocatalyst nature, surface structure, surface charge, pH, solution composition and temperature, in order to design well-based plans for the development of new and efficient electrocatalysts for practical applications.
- 10/2019 – 12/2020: Postdoctoral researcher at University of Alicante, Spain.
- 09/2018 – 12/2018: Research stay during the PhD at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), United States of America, under the supervision of Prof. Manuel P. Soriaga.
- 08/2016 – 11/2016: Research stay during the PhD at Leiden University, the Netherlands, under the supervision of Prof. Marc T. M. Koper.
- 09/2014 – 10/2019: PhD in “Electrochemistry. Science and Technology”, University of Alicante, Spain.
Dissertation: Unraveling the oxygen reduction reaction mechanism: occurrence of a bifurcation point before hydrogen peroxide formation.
Supervisors: Prof. Enrique Herrero and Prof. Juan M. Feliu.
- 09/2013 – 07/2014: Master in “Electrochemistry. Science and Technology”, University of Alicante, Spain.
Dissertation: Borohydride electro-oxidation on Pt and Au single crystal electrodes.
- 09/2008 – 06/2013: Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, University of Alicante, Spain.
- 11/2020: Secondary award of the XXVIII Prize to the best PhD dissertation in the Chemistry Field “San Alberto Magno” given by the Territorial Section of Alicante of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ) for the PhD dissertations defended on 2019.
- 07/2014: Extraordinary award for the Best Academic Record in the Master’s degree “Electrochemistry. Science of Technology”, awarded by the University of Alicante.
- 06/2013: Extraordinary award for the Best Academic Record in the Bachelors’s degree of Chemistry, awarded by Generalitat Valenciana.
- 06/2013: Extraordinary award for the Best Academic Record in the Bachelors’s degree of Chemistry, awarded by the University of Alicante.