• Kelsey A. Stoerzinger

    Postdoctoral Fellow at PNNL

  • I am a Linus Pauling Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, working to bring together solar energy and storage by using photons to generate chemical fuels.

    I’m interested in the fascinating chemistry that occurs at electrochemical interfaces and plays a critical role in dictating performance of catalysts involved in energy conversion and storage. My background is a hybrid of materials science and surface physics, which have coalesced in my use of spectroscopic approaches to link the surface chemistry of catalysts to their electronic structure and performance. This mechanistic understanding can in turn guide the rational design of more active catalysts, increasing the efficiency of electrochemical devices (e.g. fuel cells, electrolyzers). I'm particularly interested in the interface between earth-abundant catalysts, comprised of transition metal oxides, with water -- with further applications in water purification.

  • Research Interests

    Understanding and leveraging surface chemistry to develop materials for energy conversion and storage.

    Intrinsic activity of oxide catalysts

    Electrochemical studies of model systems

    In order to rationally design more active catalysts for energy and conversion and storage, thus reducing material cost for commercial technologies, I study the fundamental processes that occur on model catalyst systems for oxygen reduction and evolution. Electrochemical studies of well-defined surfaces grown by pulsed laser deposition establish the intrinsic activity of oxide catalysts in a way that cannot be realized with polydisperse nanoparticle systems. My thesis has isolated the activity of the catalyst on a true surface-area basis, enabling an accurate comparison of catalyst chemistries, and also revealed how different terminations and structures affect the kinetics. These studies of epitaxial thin films were among the first to probe phenomena that are not straightforward to isolate in nanoparticles, such as the role of oxide band structure, interfacial charge transfer (the “ligand” effect), strain, and crystallographic orientation.


    Select publications:

    Stoerzinger, K.A. Lu, W.M. Li, C. Ariando, Venkatesan, T. Shao-Horn, Y. “Highly Active Epitaxial La(1-x)SrxMnO3 Surfaces for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction: Role of Charge Transfer” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6 (2015) 1435-1440. link


    Stoerzinger, K.A. Choi, W.S. Jeen, H. Lee, H.N. and Shao-Horn, Y. “Role of Strain and Conductivity in Oxygen Electrocatalysis on LaCoO3 Thin Films” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6 (2015) 487-492. link


    Stoerzinger, K.A. Liang, Q. Biegalski, M.D. Shao-Horn, Y. “Orientation-Dependent Oxygen Evolution Activities of Rutile IrO2 and RuO2” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 5 (2014) 1636-1641. link


    Stoerzinger, K.A. Risch, M. Suntivich, J. Lu, W.M. Zhou, J. Biegalski, M. Christen, H. Ariando, Venkatesan, T. Shao-Horn, Y. “Oxygen Electrocatalysis on (001)-Oriented Manganese Perovskite Films: Mn Valency and Charge Transfer at the Nanoscale” Energy Environ. Sci. 6 (2013) 1582-1588. link

    • Highlighted in the MIT Materials Processing Center newsletter. link

    Surface chemistry of oxide catalysts

    Spectroscopic probing of surface species in situ

    Ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is a recent technique which can probe the surface species present in environments approaching that of material operation, bridging the pressure gap between surface science and application. I have used this approach to investigate the adsorption of water on well-defined thin film surfaces at a range of relative humidities, establishing the oxygen speciation and quantifying its dependence on the chemical potential of water. I found that stronger interaction with hyrodroxyls correlates with decreased catalytic activity for oxygen reduction, as well as wetting on a macroscopic scale. This fundamental insight brought molecular understanding to the wetting of oxide surfaces, as well as the role of hydrogen bonding in catalysis.


    Select publications:

    Stoerzinger, K.A. Hong, W.T. Crumlin, E.J. Bluhm, H. Shao-Horn, Y. “Insights into Electrochemical Reactions from Near-Ambient Pressure Photoelectron Spectroscopy” Acc. Chem. Res. 48 (2015) 2976-2983. link

    • Highlighted on the cover. link

    Stoerzinger, K.A. Hong, W.T. Azimi, G. Giordano, L. Lee, Y.-L. Crumlin, E.J. Biegalski, M.D. Bluhm, H. Varanasi, K.K. Shao-Horn, Y. “Reactivity of Perovskites with Water: Role of Hydroxylation in Wetting and Implications for Oxygen Electrocatalysis” J. Phys. Chem. C 119 (2015) 18504-18512. link

    • Highlighted in the MIT news. link

    Stoerzinger, K.A.* Hong, W.T.* Crumlin, E.J. Bluhm, H. Biegalski, M.D. Shao-Horn, Y. "Water Reactivity on the LaCoO3 (001) Surface: An Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Study" J. Phys. Chem. C 118 (2014) 19733-19741. link

  • You can find my full C.V. here