Angelica Benavidez, Shanti Karan Nayak, Fernando Garzon
University of New Mexico
Transition metal carbides are increasingly gaining attention as electrocatalysts because of their unique properties including structural durability, electronic conductivity, and an electron structure which is similar to that of noble metals. Molybdenum carbide has shown to be an active catalyst for various reactions however it is often not stable due to a formation of oxycarbides and oxynitrides and deactivates during use. In order to improve efficiency, high surface area, contaminant free molybdenum carbides are needed. With the help of Ellingham diagrams and gas equilibrium studies, we have developed a synthesis method that yields high surface area MoC nanoparticles of the metastable cubic phase. These MoC particles have been characterized using methods such as x-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. These 2nm MoC nanoparticles have surface areas of up to 360m2/g and have been characterizaed using TEM, XRD, EDS, XPS, and BET. These particles are used in studies that test their effectiveness for both the electrochemical and heterogeneous synthesis of ammonia.