WIN Thematic Seminar: Electrical double layer as a medium to control material synthesis

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) has four main thematic research areas; Smart and Function Materials, Connected Devices, Next Generation Energy Systems and Therapeutics and Theranostics. To showcase the work going on within these areas, we will be holding monthly WIN Thematic Seminars featuring our members and their research group members.

For this event in the series, Professor Vivek Maheshwari and postdoc Hua Fan from the Next Generation Energy Systems theme will be giving a seminar on "Electrical double layer as a medium to control material synthesis".

Registration is required. If you have any questions or issues registering, please contact 

Electrical double layer as a medium to control material synthesis

Multi-element materials are catalysts for key processes related to renewable energy such as water splitting for hydrogen generation. While catalyst composition is governed by the relative amounts of the elements, the domain size of each element and their relative spatial distribution critically affects the catalytic performance. By using the electrical double layer (EDL) on colloidal nanoparticles, a simple method to control the domain size of elements in a Pt-Ni based catalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is discussed. The HER activity shows that the catalyst with nanoscale size domains of Pt and Ni outperforms one with homogenous distribution of Pt-Ni. The EDL based process also allows for control over the catalyst composition. The developed catalyst at a macro scale is a network of nanowires, which leads to high catalytic performance due to its porous structure with high surface area. Aided by the morphology and the ability to control its composition and structure, the material is also applied for wearable devices to monitor electrophysiological signals.

Speaker Biography

Vivek Maheshwari

During his PhD in Nebraska, Professor Vivek Maheshwari developed a nanoparticle based thin film tactile sensor with capabilities on par with human skin and worked on its application as a tumor sensor for breast cancer.

Maheshwari’s research interests include synthesis and assembly of nanomaterials, ion based devices, energy harnessing and cellular electronics. The aim is to develop materials for application in new electronic devices, sensors and integration of cells with an electronic interface. He is also working on making dynamic sensors, using nanoscale viscoelasticity.

Maheshwari joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo in June 2009. He was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, from 2007-2009. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech. During this time, he developed a technique for self-assembly of nanoparticles, resulting in a room temperature single electron sensitive device. His research during MS was on rheology of polymer and the use and development of rheo-optical methods to study characteristics of polymer melts and role of tacticity on polymer characteristics.

Hua Fan

Hua Fan received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Waterloo in 2021. She is a post-doc fellow at the Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Prof. Vivek Maheshwari. Her research interests include 1D nanomaterials, flexible devices, and electrocatalysis.