School Seminar: Professor Valeria Molinero; The University of Utah – School of Chemistry School Seminar: Professor Valeria Molinero; The University of Utah – School of Chemistry

School Seminar: Professor Valeria Molinero; The University of Utah

Friday, 22 October 11:00am – 12:00pm

This seminar will be delivered via Zoom – Please email chemistry.researchsupport@sydney.edu.au for zoom link and password.

Speaker: Professor Valeria Molinero; The University of Utah

Host: Professor Chiara Neto

Title: Electrochemically Generated Nanobubbles

Abstract: Gas evolving reactions are ubiquitous in the operation of electrochemical devices, and can result in the formation of bubbles that block the electrode and decrease reaction rates. The deleterious effect of bubbles is amplified by the current trend of miniaturization of electrodes to nanoscopic sizes, as a single nanobubble can grow to cover the whole reactive area. In this presentation I will discuss our work using molecular simulations and theory to understand the electrochemical formation of bubbles on nanoelectrodes, how the size of the electrodes impact the currents that can be obtained when a bubble forms, and how we can use that knowledge to maximize conversion rates on gas producing electrochemical reactions.

Biography: Valeria Molinero is the Jack and Peg Simons Endowed Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and Distinguished Professor at The University of Utah, where she also leads the Henry Eyring Center for Theoretical Chemistry. A physical chemist by passion and training, she performed research in electrochemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Buenos Aires, before turning to computational and theoretical chemistry for her doctoral studies. Upon completion of her Ph.D. at the University of Buenos Aires, she moved to the United States to pursue postdoctoral research at Caltech with Bill Goddard and –later but simultaneously- at Arizona State University with Austen Angell, before starting her independent career at the University of Utah in 2006. Molinero’s research focuses on understanding and controlling phase transformation and dynamics in materials, with an emphasis on water. She is past Chair of the Theory Subdivision of ACS and of the Gordon Research Conference on Liquids. Molinero serves in the Board of Managers of AIP Publishing, and in the advisory board of several physical chemistry journals. Molinero’s  research has been recognized with multiple awards, including the Beckman Young Investigator Award, Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, the Cozzarelli Prize of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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