The renaissance of electrochemistry

E_02_Nenad Markovic(Photo)
Nenad Markovic
Argonne National Laboratory

Abstract :

Advances in electrochemistry at solid-liquid interfaces are vital for driving technological innovations that are needed to deliver reliable, affordable, and environmentally-friendly energy. In the first part of presentation, we highlight the key achievements in the development of new materials for efficient hydrogen and oxygen production in electrolyzers and, in the reverse, their utilization in fuel cells. A key fundamental issue addressed in this presentation is the degree to which the fundamental understanding of the synergy between covalent and non covalent interactions can form the basis for any predictive ability in tailor making real world catalysts. Common descriptors such as the substrate-hydroxide binding energy and the hydroxide-oxide•••H–OH interactions in the double layer are found to control individual parts of the hydrogen and oxygen electrochemistry that govern the efficiency of water-based energy conversion and storage systems.

In many respects, understanding processes at atomic-/molecular levels in organic solvents is much less advanced than the corresponding electrochemistry in aqueous systems. This intrinsic gap in understanding, however, has a tendency to mask the inherently close ties that exist between processes in these two environments. As a consequence, in the second part of this presentation is to build a bridge between electrochemistry that controls individual parts of the water cycle and processes in a Li-O2 battery as well as Mg deposition on negative electrodes and Mg intercalation in oxide-host of positive electrode. We conclude that understanding the complexity (simplicity) of electrochemistry at atomic and molecular levels would open new avenues for design and deployment of alternative energy systems.



Ph.D., Chemistry (Energy Conversion), University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (05/1984)
M.S., Chemistry (Energy Conversion), University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (03/1982)
B.S., Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, Univ. of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (03/1977)


Professional Activities

  • 2014-present Chief Scientist at Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA.
  • 2012-present Argonne Distinguished Fellow and Group Leader, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA.
  • 2012-2014 Deputy Director (Research), Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA.
  • 2005-2012 Senior Scientist and Group Leader-Energy Conversion and Storage, Argonne National Laboratory, Material Sciences Division, Argonne, IL, USA.
  • 1991-2005 Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Materials Sciences Division, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
  • 1986-1991 Group Leader, Institute of Electrochemistry, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
  • 1984-1986 Postdoctoral Fellow (advisor; Prof. Ernest Yeager), Department of Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
  • 1978-1984 Research Associate, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia


Research Interests

  • Directing electrochemical interfaces at atomic and molecular levels
  • Exploring fundamental descriptors for controlling energy/environment cycles based on water, carbon and nitrogen chemistries
  • Development of electrode materials with tailored properties
  • Synthesis, characterization and utilization of real-world catalysts
  • Bridging the gap between aqueous and organic based environments
  • Technology developments


Awards & Honors

  • 2013 Recipient of the Faraday Medal Award, Electrochemical Royal Society
  • 2012 Distinguished Performance Award by UChicago Argonne LLC
  • 2011 U.S. Department of Energy R&D Award—Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program; in recognition of outstanding achievement in reducing platinum group metal content for PEMFC
  • 2011 Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry
  • 2005 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Research Award for Developing Nanosegregated