“Unraveling the Electrochemical Growth Mechanisms of Nanostructures Using First-Principles Simulations”
In order to meet the growing demand for power in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious manner, current energy infrastructure must be revamped and society’s energy dependence must shift from fossil fuels to cleaner sources. Renewable energy technology will undoubtedly play a role in urban energy infrastructure, but current solutions are not prioritized due to low efficiencies. Recent advancements in the field of nanotechnology, however, offers promise to unlock the potential for cleaner energy technologies, particularly solar cells and hydrogen fuel cells. Nanostructures have piqued the interest of the scientific community; however, the mechanisms driving anisotropic nanostructure growth remain largely unclear. Herein, I performed first-principles simulations and concluded that the early passivation of the gold (100) facet directly contributes to the development of nanorods, and bromine adsorbates have the greatest impact in anisotropic nanostructure growth. By seeking a deeper understanding of nanostructure growth, engineers can develop a rational pathway to design optimal nanostructure manufacturing approaches, which can significantly impact the future of society’s energy infrastructure.