Enhancing the connection between computation and experiments in electrocatalysis

Joaquin Resasco, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Christopher Hahn, Zhenan Bao, Marc Koper, Thomas F Jaramillo
Year of publication: 
Nature Catalysis

Combining computational and experimental methods is a powerful approach to understand the variables that govern catalyst performance and ultimately design improved materials. However, the effectiveness of this approach rests on the strength of the relationships between calculated parameters and experimental measurements. These relationships are complicated by the intricacy and dynamic behaviour of catalytic active sites, and by the non-trivial relationship between calculated reaction energetics and observed rates. In this Perspective, we highlight opportunities to enhance the connection between computation and experiment in electrocatalysis. These include measuring the intrinsic kinetic behaviour of catalysts, creating precise models for the active site and its environment, and forming clear relationships between calculated reaction energetics and observed rates. As experimental and computational methods continue to become more powerful, clear connections between the two will maximize their utility to guide the design of efficient and selective electrocatalysts.

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