Faculty and Research

personnel profile

Thomas F. Jaramillo

Title:Assistant Professor
Location:Keck 259
E-mail: jaramillo@stanford.edu
URL: http://jaramillogroup.stanford.edu
Administrator: Annie Jensen

Research Statement

Recent years have seen unprecedented motivation for the emergence of new energy technologies. Global dependence on fossil fuels, however, will persist until alternate technologies can compete economically. We must develop means to produce energy (or energy carriers) from renewable sources and then convert them to work as efficiently and cleanly as possible. Catalysis is energy conversion, and the Jaramillo laboratory focuses on fundamental catalytic processes occurring on solid-state surfaces in both the production and consumption of energy. Chemical-to-electrical and electrical-to-chemical energy conversion are at the core of the research. Nanoparticles, metals, alloys, sulfides, nitrides, carbides, phosphides, oxides, and biomimetic organo-metallic complexes comprise the toolkit of materials that can help change the energy landscape. Tailoring catalyst surfaces to fit the chemistry is our primary challenge.

Fuel Cells
A fuel cell is a promising energy conversion device in which chemical energy is directly converted to electrical energy, for example: H2 + 1/2O2 → H2O, DG = -1.23 eV. Despite the attractiveness of fuel cell technologies, a number of materials-related problems have hindered their wide-spread use. Projects in this area are geared for the development of promising new electrocatalytic materials by studying fundamental electrochemical surface phenomena, with the ultimate aim of overcoming the technological challenges in fuel cell catalysis. In the case of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the greatest challenge is the cathode, where much of the cell voltage must be "consumed" in order to drive the sluggish reaction kinetics of the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR), O2 + 4H+ + 4e- → 2H2O. The potential at which the cathode operates is also problematic, as unwanted surface chemistry is often induced, including surface oxidation, poisoning by OH- adsorption, or electrochemical dissolution. New materials are needed as the best catalysts for this reaction are based on Pt or Pt-group metals which are scarce and expensive. Similar problems exist at the anode; earth-abundant and catalytically active materials are needed for the oxidation of fuels such as hydrogen and methanol with the constraint that they must also be tolerant to possible catalyst poisons such as carbon monoxide or CHx species, which are ubiquitous in fuel feeds, or could even exist as reaction intermediates.

To view Jaramillo’s full Research Statement, Current Students and Researchers list, see his department page.

PhD 2004 UC Santa Barbara
MS 2000 UC Santa Barbara
BS 1998 Stanford
Publication TitleAuthor(s)/Speaker(s)Open Document
Combined spectroscopy and microscopy of supported MoS2 nanoparticles J. H. Nielsen; K. P. Jø rgensen...
Electrocatalytic activity of gold-platinum clusters for low temperature fuel cell applications W. Tang; S. Jayaraman; T.F. Jaramillo...
The Dynamics of Surface Exchange Reactions Between Au and Pt for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER) and the Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction (HOR) B. L. Abrams; P. C. K. Vesborg; J. Bonde...
Steady state oxygen reduction reaction and cyclic voltammetry J. Rossmeisl; G. S. Karlberg; T. F. Jaramillo...
Hydrogen Evolution on Nanoparticulate Transition Metal Sulfides J. Bonde; P.G. Moses; T.F. Jaramillo...
Display All Publications