|Posted on January 1, 2016 at 6:25 PM|
Karren More and lead author Miaofang Chi and co-workers at Oak Ridge National Labs are developing new techniques to allow them to image nanoparticles that could lead to emission-free fuel cell technologies. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, the ORNL researchers are looking to make these materials cheaper and higher performing. Their recent paper in Nature Communications shows a new ability to watch, in real time, molecular rearrangements of the catalyst nanoparticles as they are heated (annealed).
Dr. Chi commented on the value of this new approach: "You can anneal something from room temperature to 800°C, but you don't know at which point you should stop the process to ensure the best catalytic performance. Because you don't know how the particle evolves, you might be missing the optimum surface configuration."