Drs. Nenad Markovic and Vojislav Stamenkovic received The UChicago Argonne, LLC Board of Governors Distinguished Performance Awards

On August 16, 2012, Drs. Nenad Markovic and Vojislav Stamenkovic of the Materials Science Division received Distinguished Performance Award for pioneering research on the design and synthesis of multi-functional electrochemical interfaces.

Their research has focused on the discovery of novel ways to transform chemical energy into electricity, and in the utilization of electrochemistry to create superior materials for applications in energy conversion and storage systems. Their program has had an enormous impact, ranging from fuel cells, to electrolyzers, to batteries.

The success of their Argonne work is evident. Since arriving from LBNL six years ago, this group has achieved a number of successes, with three papers in Science, three in Nature Materials, and two in Nature Chemistry. Five of their recent Argonne publications have received 100 or more citations, and their latest work is not only featured on Argonne’s main web page, but also on the main web page of the Office of Science.

In their latest work (Science, 2011), they have been able to pattern nanometer-scale nickel hydroxide clusters on platinum electrodes, leading to an order-of-magnitude improvement in the reduction of water to hydrogen. This follows their most quoted Argonne work (Science, 2007 & Nature Materials, 2007), where they showed that platinum-nickel and platinum-cobalt alloys led to an order-of-magnitude improvement over platinum itself for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells.

These results have led to a variety of benefits for Argonne that are relevant to the Lab’s and DOE’s energy mission goals. Their work related to the design and synthesis of electrochemical interfaces for efficient energy conversion and storage is supported by both DOE BES and DOE EERE programs. In recognition of outstanding achievements in reducing platinum group metals for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, they received the 2011 DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program R&D Award. These ongoing efforts have launched extensive collaborations with industry.

As a result of their success, they are now an integral part of Argonne’s Energy Frontier Research Center and have also been intimately involved in strategic planning for Argonne’s new initiatives in energy storage and conversion programs.