Electrocatalysis for sustainable energy

Prof. dr. Marc Koper

Marc Koper’s research focuses on electrocatalysis and electrochemical surface science for sustainable energy and chemistry. Reactions of interest are the redox reactions of the oxygen/hydrogen cycle (water oxidation, hydrogen evolution), the carbon cycle (reduction of carbon dioxide, oxidation of small organic molecules) and the nitrogen cycle (oxidation of ammonia, reduction of nitrate).

Catalysts of interest are transition metals such as platinum, copper and gold (preferably single crystalline) as well as molecular catalysts adsorbed on electrode surfaces. We use a range of sophisticated electrochemical, spectroscopic and theoretical/computational techniques to scrutinize the molecular mechanisms of these important reactions, and to develop “design rules” for the transformations of interest. Have a look at the “News” and “Publications” section of our website for some of the recent work from our group. Also see: "Leer ons kennen: Marc Koper".

The cover image shows the gold electrode used by Rodriguez, Kwon and Koper in their study of gold-catalysed alcohol oxidation. The electrode is in the 'hanging-meniscus configuration' and is immersed in an aqueous solution. When modified with carbon monoxide, the gold surface catalyses the oxidation of certain alcohols in alkaline media. Remarkably, the carbon monoxide acts as a reaction promoter, in contrast to its usual role as a poison.








  1. Diaz-Morales, O., S. Raaijman, R. Kortlever, P.J. Kooyman, T. Wezendonk, J. Gascon, W.T. Fu, M.T.M. Koper, "Iridium-based double perovskites for efficient water oxidation in acid media", Nature Communications, vol. 7, pp. 12363, 8/2016. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12363
  2. Huang, Y.-F., P.J. Kooyman, M.T.M. Koper, "Intermediate stages of electrochemical oxidation of single-crystalline platinum revealed by in situ Raman spectroscopy", Nature Communications, vol. 7, pp. 12440, 8/2016. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12440
  3. Shen, J., R. Kortlever, R. Kas, Y.Y. Birdja, O. Diaz-Morales, Y. Kwon, I. Ledezma-Yanez, K.J.P. Schouten, et al., "Electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and methane at an immobilized cobalt protoporphyrin", Nature Communications, vol. 6, pp. 8177, 9/2015. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9177
  4. Calle-Vallejo, F., M.T.M. Koper, "Theoretical Considerations on the Electroreduction of CO to C-2 Species on Cu(100) Electrodes", Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, vol. 52, no. 28, pp. 7282-7285, Jul 8, 2013. DOI: 10.1002/Anie.201301470
  5. Rodriguez, P., Y. Kwon, M.T.M. Koper, "The promoting effect of adsorbed carbon monoxide on the oxidation of alcohols on a gold catalyst", Nature Chemistry, vol. 4, issue 3, pp. 177 - 182, 12/2011. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1221

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