An eSSENCE-CECAM seminar

Monday 27 February 2017, at 15.15: The Ångström Laboratory, Å4003

“Physics and chemistry: The definitive structure
of Liquid Water, and Reduction of Carbon Dioxide”

Professor Lars G.M. Pettersson
FYSIKUM, AlbaNova, Stockholm University


Under this heading I will summarize our recent work in two important fields:
1. understanding normal liquid water and 2. how to turn CO2 into useful chemicals in a green electrochemical process. Both represent significant modelling challenges.

In the case of liquid water, I will present our benchmark paper in which the definitive oxygen-oxygen pair-distribution function, derived from many x-ray diffraction measurements, was presented [doi: 10.1063/1.4790861]. I will also briefly comment on a new picture that is evolving for liquid water, namely as a substance consisting of two normal liquids, one high-density (HDL) and one low-density (LDL) form, with its intriguing anomalous properties arising from fluctuations between them.

Global warming through emission of carbon dioxide from human activities is a current challenge. Copper is rather unique in its ability to catalyze the reduction of CO2 into ethylene, but unfortunately only in small amounts. However, by reducing copper oxide electrochemically, it has been found that a nanostructured catalyst with a much larger selectivity for ethylene is obtained. I will present our work to under- stand the origin of this selectivity which is based on the influence of subsurface oxygen species.


Kersti Hermansson
Olle Eriksson