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Physical Sciences
Staff Awards & Honors

February 2015

Catalysis Team Wins Prestigious National Lectureship

Hydrogen molecules
The Hydrogen Catalysis Team won the 2015 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science for their work on the role of proton movement in the electrocatalytic interconversion of electricity and hydrogen fuel.

Congratulations to the Hydrogen Catalysis Team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on winning the 2015 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science. The PNNL team earned the award for research that has revolutionized understanding of the role of proton movement in the electrocatalytic interconversion of electricity and hydrogen fuel. This work has had a profound impact on catalysis as a whole. It has also strengthened the connections between bio-related and molecular catalysis and between experimental and theoretical chemists.

This is the first team win for the lectureship, which is co-sponsored by the ACS Division of Catalysis Science & Technology and ACS Catalysis. The members are Morris Bullock, Daniel DuBois, Monte Helm, Michel Dupuis, Simone Raugei, Jenny Yang, John Roberts, Molly O'Hagan, Wendy Shaw, Aaron Appel, and Eric Wiedner at PNNL, and Sharon Hammes-Schiffer at University of Illinois. Yang is now at the University of California - Irvine; Roberts is at REC Silicon. The team is part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the DOE Office of Science's Basic Energy Sciences.

To conduct this research, the scientists applied expertise in synthesis, spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and high-level theory and computation to develop and understand challenging catalytic processes. A signature aspect of their work is their focus on catalysts based on earth-abundant metals. They have established remarkable catalytic behavior for nickel, iron, and manganese. The highly collaborative team elucidated the design rules of one of the great breakthroughs in catalysis of recent years -- the diphosphine-amine ligands that facilitate the production and oxidation of dihydrogen by first-row transition metal centers.

The lecture will be presented at the 2015 ACS Fall National Meeting & Exposition in Boston August 16-20, where a symposium will be held in the team's honor.

Acknowledgments

The research that led to this award was funded by the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's Office of Basic Energy Sciences.


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