Electrosynthesis | Interfacial Science | Inorganic Chemistry
The mission of the Wuttig group is to integrate renewable energy input into the synthesis of products across the chemical value chain by advancing the science underlying chemical reactivity at electrified interfaces.
Synthesis driven by renewable sources of electricity offers a sustainable, scalable, decentralized, and energy-efficient route to furnish value-added products – from fuels to complex molecules. The predictive design of efficient and selective electrosynthetic sequences, however, remains challenging due to the structural complexity of the unique added dimension inherent to all electrochemical systems: the electrified interface. Research in the Wuttig group focuses on strategies to address this challenge by leveraging interfacial self-assembly and electrode materials design to elucidate the impact of the interface on electron transfer events central to catalytic small and complex molecule activation. Our approach bridges the fields of inorganic and organic chemistry by drawing on synthetic and physical inorganic and organic tools to obtain a molecular-level understanding of interfacial structure, its manipulation, and its effects on electroorganic reactivity and electrochemical processes. The mechanistic understanding we uncover guides the development of new catalyst design principles to advance sustainable synthetic chemistry methodologies and energy conversion/storage systems.
Research project areas include the design of dynamic interfacial self assembly processes to investigate new strategies to direct and control electricity-driven reaction selectivity and efficiency; the manipulation of transition-metal electrocatalysts to interrogate and discover new mechanistic pathways to access challenging organometallic transformations; and the investigation of metal-oxides for dual electrocatalytic paired electrolysis.