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Erik Askins

Visiting Student - Graduate

Fundamental studies of carbon-based electrocatalysts


I am a PhD candidate and visiting graduate student from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I work under the direction of Professor Ksenija Glusac as a part of the Chemical Sciences & Engineering division and Department of Chemistry at ANL and UIC, respectively.

In my research I perform fundamental studies in homogeneous and heterogeneous electrocatalysis. In one avenue I explore small, organic molecules for discharge redox mediators in Li-O2 batteries. Here, I study the thermodynamic and kinetic factors which govern discharge redox mediation with the ultimate goal of expanding current libraries of redox mediators and unearthing essential descriptors which explain their activity in Li-O2 cells.

On the other side, I use catalytic metal-coordinated graphene nanoribbons (GNR) to modify glassy carbon electrodes and study the hybrid electrodes using electrochemistry and X-ray spectroscopy. These novel hybrid electrodes exhibit an interesting departure from the electrochemical behavior of their molecular analogs. I seek to understand the nature of the interaction between GNR and the supporting electrode.