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Bruce Koel

Research Focus

Bruce Koel

Life at the edge"-Surfaces are where the action is.

Our research program is aimed at characterizing and understanding chemical reactions at surfaces. Interfacial processes and surface chemistry are at the heart of technologies associated with the chemical and petroleum industries, functioning of batteries and fuel cells, production of microelectronic devices, and design and fabrication of sensors and diagnostic devices, and play key roles in heterogeneous processes in environmental and atmospheric chemistry. By discovering novel methods to alter and control surface chemistry we seek to develop new catalysts for specialty chemical synthesis, make advanced materials with novel properties, and build functional nanostructures from a "bottom-up" approach utilizing directed manipulation and layered nanofabrication at surfaces and interfaces. Surfaces are central to nanoscience and technology, modifying and controlling important properties of nanoparticles and electrical contacts. We employ a wide array of surface analytical techniques in our work, including scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HR-XPS), high-sensitivity low energy ion scattering (HS-LEIS), and infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (IRAS).

Research activities include: (i) understanding the structure, reactivity, and catalysis of bimetallic Pt alloys, (ii) characterizing oxidation and reduction reactions at core-shell zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) used for environmental remediation, (iii) characterization of novel PEM fuel cell electrodes, (iv) development of Rutherford backscattering (RBS) as a probe of liquid-solid interfaces, (v) probing chemistry and catalysis at Au surfaces and nanoparticles, (vi) elucidating kinetics and mechanism of ozonolysis of hydrocarbon films, (vii) investigating bond-selective chemistry using low energy electrons and ions, and (viii) measurements and fabrication of nanostructures by self-assembly and directed manipulation.

Honors & Awards

  • EaStCHEM Intern'l Visiting Fellowship lecturer, U. of Edinburgh & St. Andrews, Scotland 2008
  • George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry, Amer. Chem. Soc. (ACS) 2007
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2004
  • University de Paris-Sud, Professeur Invite', Orsay, France, 2001
  • Osaka Nat'l Res. Inst., AIST Guest Researcher Awards, Osaka, Japan, 1999 and 2000
  • Keynote Address, Brazilian Vacuum Society Annual Conf., Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, 2000
  • Fellow of the American Vacuum Society (AVS), 1999
  • Distinguished Alumnus of Emporia State University, 1998
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), 1996

Selected Recent Publications

  • “Surface Structure of Pd3Fe(111) and Effects of Oxygen Adsorption”, X. Yang, L. A. Welch, J. Fu and B. E. Koel, in Catalytic Materials for Energy, Green Processes and Nanotechnology, edited by C-Y. Mou, J. Liu, H.H. Kung, S. Dai (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. Vol. 1217, Warrendale, PA, 2010), 1217-Y08-43.
  • “Modification of active sites on YSZ(111) by yttria segregation”, J. Lahiri, A. Mayernick, S. L. Morrow, B. E. Koel, A. C. T. van Duin, M. J. Janik, and M. Batzill, J. Phys. Chem. C, 114(13), 5990-5996 (2010).
  • Chapter 2 “Structure, Characterization and Reactivity of Pt-Alloy Surfaces”, B. E. Koel, in Model Systems in Catalysis: From Single Crystals and Size Selected Clusters to Supported Enzyme Mimics, R. M. Rioux (Ed.), (Springer, 2010), pp. 29-50.
  • “Formation of Ge-Pt layer compound on Pt(100)”, T. Matsumoto, C.-S. Ho, and B. E. Koel, J. Phys. Chem. C, 113(50), 21019-21021 (2009).
  • “Improving Electrocatalysts for O2 Reduction by Fine-tuning the Pt-support Interaction: Pt Monolayer on the Surfaces of a Pd3Fe(111) Single-Crystal Alloy”, W.-P. Zhou, X. Yang, M. Vukmirovic, B. E. Koel, J. Jiao, G. Peng, M. Mavrikakis, and R. Adzic, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 131(35), 12755-12762 (2009).
  • “Simultaneous Oxidation and Reduction of Arsenic by Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles: Understanding the Significance of the Core-Shell Structure”, M. A. Ramos, W. Yan, X.-Q. Li, B. E. Koel, and W.-X. Zhang, J. Phys. Chem. C, 113(33), 14591-14594 (2009).
  • “Probing selectivity over Pt-Sn catalysts in reactions of n-C6 hydrocarbons: Adsorption and reactivity of n-hexane, 1-hexene, and 1,5-hexadiene on Pt(111) and Sn/Pt(111) surface alloys”, H. Zhao and B. E. Koel, J. Phys. Chem. C, 113(23), 18152-18162 (2009).
  • “Site-blocking effects of preadsorbed H on Pt(111) probed by 1,3-butadiene adsorption and reaction”, H. Zhao, L. A. Welch, and B. E. Koel, Surface Sci., 603(23), 3355-3360 (2009).
  • “STM and LEED observations of a c(2?2) Ge overlayer on Pt(100)”, T. Matsumoto, M. Batzill, and B. E. Koel, Surface Sci., 603(15), 2252-2262 (2009).
  • “Formation and Structure of a (?19??19)R23.4?-Ge/Pt(111) Surface Alloy”, C.-S. Ho, S. Banerjee, M. Batzill, D. E. Beck, and B. E. Koel, Surface Sci., 603, 1161-1167 (2009).
  • “Investigation of CO oxidation transient kinetics on an oxygen pre covered Au(211) stepped surface”, J. Kim, E. Samano, and B. E. Koel, Catal. Lett., 128, 263-267 (2009).
  • “An IRAS study of CO bonding on Sn/Pt(111) surface alloys at maximal pressures of 10 Torr”, A. Hightower, M. D. Perez, and B. E. Koel”, Surface Sci., 603, 455-461 (2009).
  • “A Study of Iodine Adlayers on Polycrystalline Gold Electrodes by in-situ Electrochemical Rutherford Backscattering (ECRBS)”, A. Hightower, B. E. Koel, and T. Felter, Electrochimica Acta, 54, 1777-1783 (2009).
  • “Real-time scanning tunneling microscopy observations of the oxidation of a Ti/Pt(111)-(2?2) surface alloy using O2 and NO2”, S. Hsieh, G. F. Liu, and B. E. Koel, J. Vac. Sci. Technol., A 26, 1336-1342 (2008).
  • “Determination of the Oxide Layer Thickness in Core-Shell Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles”, J. Martin, A. Herzing, W. Yan, X. Li, B. Koel, C. Kiely, and W. Zhang, Langmuir, 24, 4329-4334 (2008).

Bruce Koel
Engineering Quad, A311
Phone: 609-258-4524