Seminar Series - Lauren Greenlee

Wed Sep 12 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Unless otherwise noted, all Seminar Series events are held at 3 p.m. in the MoSE "M" Building (Room G011). Refreshments are served outside of the room starting at 2:30 p.m.

Lauren Greenlee, University of Arkansas

FexNi1-xO(H)y Nanocatalysts for Alkaline Electrocatalysis


Sustainability in energy conversion processes requires materials that are designed to be high-performance and durable, yet cost-effective. Alkaline electrochemical systems provide an opportunity to explore non-precious metal alternatives to precious metal-based electrocatalysts, where the use of non-precious metals would allow a significant reduction in cost. Recently, iron-incorporated nickel oxide/hydroxide catalysts have been a focus for alkaline electrooxidation reactions, and in particular, for the oxygen evolution reaction. This focus results from the newly identified role of iron in controlling catalyst activity. While fundamental research largely focuses on the study of bulk films, there is a need for catalysts that have high mass normalized activities, or, high surface area-to-volume ratio. Our research interests in this area focus on the development of FeNi bimetallic nanoparticles. We develop nanoparticle materials for specific electrochemical or chemical reactions, such as the oxygen evolution reaction, through variation of bimetallic composition, morphological structure, extent of oxide/oxyhydroxide phases, and ligand concentration and molecular structure. Much of our work focuses on the use of complementary high resolution characterization tools to understand how synthesis directs nanoparticle structure and how structure impacts electrocatalytic activity. In this seminar, I will discuss some of our on-going work on iron-nickel oxide/hydroxide nanoparticle materials suite (Figure 1) that demonstrates promising performance for the oxygen evolution reaction. I will discuss how we synthesize our nanoparticles, how we control nanoparticle properties such as morphology and composition, and our understanding of how nanoparticle properties influence catalyst performance.


Lauren received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2001 and then spent several years working abroad in France and Switzerland. Subsequently, she worked in Boston for a pharmaceutical start-up company before attending graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her M.S. in Environmental Engineering in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2009, where she focused on understanding the precipitation of scaling salts during reverse osmosis membrane desalination. Lauren then held a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) from 2009 – 2011, with a focus on iron nanoparticle synthesis and characterization for water treatment applications. She continued at NIST as a staff scientist and led the Engineered Nanoparticle Systems Project for four years, before joining the faculty of the Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering as an Assistant Professor in December 2015. Her research group is interested in the development and characterization of nanoparticles and nanostructured materials for water treatment, electrochemical energy conversion, and chemical conversion applications.