2019 Graduate Fellows

Ian Murphy

In most electrochemical reactions, the action happens at the electrode surface. For many promising next generation energy storage systems (both batteries and fuel cells) this reality constrains their economic feasibility, as the best surfaces for electrochemistry tend to be found in precious metals like platinum or gold. My research focuses on making the surfaces of less ideal, but earth abundant materials, more reactive through thoughtful functionalization with organic molecules. Specifically with the support of this award I am investigating the modification of colloidally synthesized transition metal phosphide nano-particle surfaces for enhanced electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution and related multi-proton, multi-electron chemistries. This work will require novel synthesis, quantitative surface characterization, and rigorous electrochemical interrogation to validate our hypotheses.

Advisor Brandi Cossairt – Chemistry

“Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. The University of Washington is to be congratulated for establishing an Institute where faculty and students can work together to tackle the difficult global challenge of energy sustainability.”
– Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Energy competition is opening up in a variety of ways, the push for carbon control will continue, and the rate of technology advancement is exponential. All the things I’ve seen at the CEI are just perfect for the way we see things going in energy. You guys are at the cutting edge. We’re counting on you.”
– Ronald Litzinger, President, Edison Energy