Submitted by Abby O'Connor / The College of New Jersey on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 10:45
My Notes

This learning object was developed at the 2012 NSF sponsored cCWCS VIPEr workshop at UNC-CH where we were fortunate to hear Jillian Dempsey present this research that has appeal to students. This work focuses on an exciting and promising strategy to develop new technology to support a solar energy economy. This literature discussion leads students through a current application in the field of electrocatalysis. The primary literature article for the discussion is found in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2012 109 (39) 15560-15564.

Learning Goals

Students should be able to:

- identify the chemical reaction presented and balance the half reactions for water splitting

- explain the role of a catalyst in an electrochemical reaction

- propose and evaluate the validity of possible mechanisms based on the experimental data

- find and rationalize trends in the series of catalysts presented in the article

- identify the features associated with electrocatalysis

Implementation Notes

The intent of this literature discussion is geared to provide a broad introduction to the field of electrocatalysis.

Two implementation strategies we thought of are:

  1. Have the students read the article, answer questions 1-4, and watch Chip Nataro’s 5-slides about cyclic voltammetry. In class, discuss questions 5 and 6. For a more in depth discussion, assign questions 7-11.
  2. Have the students read the article and watch Chip Nataro’s 5-slides about cyclic voltammetry the night before. Discuss questions 1-4 in class and assign the questions 5 and 6 for homework.

For a more in depth discussion on electrocatalysis we included a more challenging questions in our document (7-11). These questions could also be used on exams.

Time Required
1 class period
Evaluation Methods

Collect responses to questions not covered in class.

Grade class participation.

Assign a more in depth question on an exam. 

Creative Commons License
Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA