Analytical chemistry & Electrochemistry

The group of Aharon Blank develops novel methods in analytical chemistry of semiconductor devices to detect the presence of dopants, impurities and defects with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution.

Exciton coupled circular dichroism (ECCD) spectroscopy represents two coupled absorption bands with opposite signs caused by the interaction between two chromophores present in the same backbone. The intensity, position and sign of the bands reflect the environment of each chromophore in the molecule and depend upon the dihedral angel between the planes of the two chromophores. When the two chromophores are metal-binding ligands, the angle between them is correlated to the coordination geometry of the metal complex formed. Thus, the Maayan’
lab exploit ECCD as a unique characterization tool to explore the transfer of chirality from the helical backbone of peptidomimetic oligomers called peptoids to metalic centers incorporated within these backbones and as a sensitive probe for detecting changes in the coordination geometry of chiral metallopeptoids. The metallopeptoids are also characterized by electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltametry (CV) and DPV. Some of these metallopeptoids, together with some other metal clusters, are tested as electrocatalysts for water oxidation using controlled potential electrolesis (BE),towards the production of molecular hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

The Eisenberg lab for Electrochemistry and Energy is interested in the fundamental electro-catalysis and materials chemistry of fuel cells. In particular, carbon materials – highly porous, partially graphitic, and hetero-doped – are rising electrodes in electrochemical energy storage. This is a curious twist of history: for many millennia carbon was mostly a low-value energy source, only good for burning up. These days, we find carbon electrodes in power sources as diverse as fuel cells, supercapacitors and batteries.
Our group seeks new routes for rational – rather than serendipitous – design of carbon materials as fuel cell electrodes. We build new carbon architectures and tailor their active sites. We look at their activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) — the current bottleneck for most fuel cell technologies — and for the oxidation of revolutionary alternative fuels.