Soft Materials Lab

Energy Applications

Catalysts are vital pillars of modern chemistry and are used in over 80% of industrial processes to boost the rate of a desired specific reaction. Various earth-abundant and non-precious metals (alloys, chalcogenides, carbides, pnictides, borides, phosphates, borophosphates, phosphides, phosphites, phosphonates, and intermetallics) and metal-free-based electrocatalysts have extensively been employed in a range of industrially important reactions including electro-, photo-, and thermalcatalysis. Our research is focussed on the designing of low cost, extremely efficient and stable single atom catalysts (SACs) for various energy applications.

To cope with the ever-increasing demand for sustainable and clean energy fuel, hydrogen has emerged as the most promising future fuel that holds great potential to complement environmentally hazardous and non-renewable fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). Water electrolysis is the most preferred route to generate hydrogen. However, it is a kinetically sluggish process that requires catalysts to boost the hydrogen generation rate. In this regard, SACs with well-defined active centers, maximized atom utilization efficiency and unique physicochemical properties holds great potential as an HER electrocatalysts. Our research group works on the immobilization of noble single atoms on various supports, namely carbon materials, transition metal dichalcogenides via hydrothermal, electrodeposition and wet chemistry route to fabricate SACs to improve the overall HER activity, selectivity, and stability. Then, to further evaluate their HER performance by measuring essential HER parameters including overpotential, Tafel slope, exchange current density, stability, etc.

Investigating Areas

Development of single atom catalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction
• Energy storage devices (Supercapacitors & batteries)
  •       Priyanka Aggarwal, Debasish Sarkar, Kamlendra Awasthi, Prashanth W. Menezes
  •       Boosting electrochemical hydrogen evolution activity of MoS2 nanosheets via facile decoration of Au overlayer
  •       International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 47.99 (2022) 41795-41805 More
  •       Priyanka Aggarwal, Debasish Sarkar, Kamlendra Awasthi, Prashanth W. Menezes
  •       Functional role of single-atom catalysts in electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution: Current developments and future challenges
  •       Coordination Chemistry Reviews 452 (2022): 214289 More
  •        Hem Kanwar Rathore, Muruganandham Hariram, Mukhesh K Ganesha, Ashutosh K Singh, Debanjan Das, Manoj Kumar, Kamlendra Awasthi, Debasish Sarkar
  •       Charge Storage Mechanism in Vanadium Telluride/Carbon Nanobelts as Electroactive Material in an Aqueous Asymmetric Supercapacitor
  •       Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 621 (2022), 110-118 More