Catalysis Based on Nanomaterials 

graduate students: Shimaa, Hagar, Yasser and Fatma 

The applications of nanotechnology in the field of catalysis have attracted the attention of many scientific researchers and became one of the most important topics that require working on its investigation and development.  The scope of our work includes the use of the electrochemically deposited metallic particles, in the submicro/nano scale, as catalysts for fuel cells reactions such as methanol oxidation and hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions.  Examples of the electrodeposited metals are gold (Au), platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd) and ruthenium (Ru).  The deposition of bi-metallic alloys has been also studied.  The electrocatalytic activity of such catalysts can be enhanced by the use of conducting polymers as substrates.  Different types of conducting polymers have been used such as, poly(thiophene), poly(pyrrole) and poly(aniline), copolymers and bilayers of the listed polymers have been also applied [1-3]. Recently, the two-dimensional carbon, graphene, has attracted interest as a promising catalyst carrier in the next generation of carbon-based support materials. We are currently investigating the fabrication of nanocomposites of graphene doped with metals or metal oxides nanoparticles for catalysis and sensing applications.


Perovskites, type ABO3, a class of nano-mixed oxides, have been also successively used as catalysts for hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions [4].  A new synthesis method for preparing such compounds has been introduced by our group for the first time which is the microwave-assistant method [5].  The microwave-assistant method saves time and energy required for the synthesis process, results in perovskites of unique morophology, small particle size, narrow particle size distribution and therefore, enhanced chemical and physical properties.  Ternary A1-xA′xBO3, AB1-yB′yO3 and tetranary A1-xA′xB1-yB′yO3 perovskites are also synthesized by our group to achieve better chemical, physical and optical properties.  Our interest in the next stages is to apply these materials in the field of gas sensors, water purification and enzyme immobilization.


Selected Publications: 

1.      Electrodeposited metals at conducting polymer electrodes. I- Effect of particle size and film thickness on electrochemical response, Nada F. Atta, A. Galal, F. Khalifa, Appl. Surf. Sci., 253, 4273–4282, (2007). Full Article

2.    Electrodeposited metals at conducting polymer electrodes. II- Study of the oxidation of methanol at poly(3-methylthiophene) modified with Pt-Pd co-catalyst, Ahmed Galal, Nada F. Atta, Soher A. Darwish, Shimaa M. Ali, Topics in Catalysis 47, 73-83 (2008). Full Article

3.    Characterization and catalytic properties of composite polymeric materials, Fatma Balhay, Ph.D. thesis, Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University (2007).  

4.    Electrocatalytic evolution of hydrogen on a novel SrPdO3 perovskite electrode, Ahmed Galal, Nada F. Atta, Soher A. Darwish, Ahmed Abdel Fatah, Shimaa M. Ali, Journal of Power Sources 195, 3806–3809 (2010). Full Article  

5.     Synthesis, structure and catalytic activity of nano-structured Sr–Ru–O type perovskite for hydrogen production, Ahmed Galal, Soher A. Darwish, Nada F. Atta, Shimaa M. Ali, Ahmed A. Abd El Fatah, Applied Catalysis A: General 378, 151–159 (2010). Full Article 


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