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Investigating Ceria Morphologies for the Platinum-Ceria Catalyst System

Catalytic converters are essential for reducing harmful automobile emissions of pollutants like carbon monoxide. Platinum-ceria is an important catalytic converter whose performance could be improved by exploring different nanostructures of ceria. By comparing the catalytic conversion of platinum on ceria rods, cubes, and octahedra, nanoscale morphology-related factors impacting catalytic performance will be identified. The various

Manipulation of Vibrational Modes by Nanostructuring in a SiO2 Thin-Film

In ionic materials, the electron beam in a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) can excite vibrational modes via long-range Coulomb interactions with the polarized electron cloud in a chemical bond, which can now be explored with electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS). The team aims to manipulate surface-phonon-polariton vibrational modes in a SiO2 thin-film by nanoscale patterning,

Building a Vapor Phase Photoreactor for Photocatalytic Water Splitting

This project’s purpose is to construct a reactor capable of exposing photocatalyst nanoparticles to water vapor and light so hydrogen production can be assessed under mixed thermal and photon stimuli. Vapor phase water splitting is relevant for concentrated-solar applications wherein sunlight is focused onto a reactor. A vapor phase reactor has been designed by using