YuYe J. Tong

Office: 408B White-Gravenor
Phone: 202-687-5872
Fax: 202-687-6209

Lab web site:   http://tonglab.georgetown.edu


BSc. 1983 Fudan University, Shanghai, China
MSc. 1986 Fudan University, Shanghai, China
DSc. 1994 Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Visiting Staff Scientist, 1995-1996, Institut de Recherches sur la Catalyse, CNRS, Villeurbanne, France
Postdoctoral Associate, 1996-2001, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Physical Chemical Measurements, Advanced Topics in Analytical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry

Research Interests

Analytical & Physical Chemistry/Nanomaterials Science: Solid-State Surface Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Interfacial Electrochemistry, Heterogeneous and Electrocatalysis (fuel cell), Physics and Chemistry of Nano-materials.

Research in my lab is directed towards molecular level understanding of chemistry and physics of nanoscale materials in general and polyoxomelate (nanoscale oxygen-metal cluster) surface chemistry, chemistry and physics of ligand-protected metal qunatum dots, and electronic structure-function relationships in catalysis of nanoscale bimetallic heterogeneous and electrocatalysts in particular. The research is inherently interdisciplinary, offering unique opportunities for graduate as well as undergraduate training in frontier areas of modern chemistry and nanoscience, encompassing materials-engineering, surface science and interfacial electrochemistry, condensed matter chemistry and physics of nanoscale materials, heterogeneous and electrocatalysis, solid-state NMR, IR spectroscopy, and quantum chemistry, all directed towards the improved engineering of novel materials. Some of the current research projects are as follows: 

1. Chemistry and Physics of Metal Quantum Dots.  A metal QD is an isolated nanoparticle containing hundreds or thousands of metal atoms which forms a small enough geometric 3-dimension confinement of electrons leading to resolvable discrete electronic energy levels, as opposed to the quasi-continuum of band structures in its bulk counterpart. Such metal QDs are the fundamental building blocks for many nanostructured materials expected to show unprecedented physical and chemical properties which are inaccessible using existing materials. This project is directed toward investigation of local electronic/structural properties of ligand-protected metal quantum dots (QDs) as a function of QD size, number of excess electrons that the QD carries, and inter-QD spacing in metal QD superlattices. This project will provide critical data for understanding the physics and chemistry of these systems. Such an understanding is crucial for the ultimate rational design of novel nanostructured materials which will be the basis for many future technological applications 

2. Surface Chemistry of Polyoxometalates (POM).  POMs are discrete, nanoscale (0.6 -2.5 nm) molecular oxygen-metal clusters containing early transition metal cations M (=V, Nb, Ta, Mo, or W) in an oxygen-coordinated octahedra, MO6. By sharing edges and corners, these octahedra usually form a highly symmetrical structure of general formula XmMxOyn-, where X (=B, Si, Ge, P(V), As(V), and some other elements) are the so-called heteroatoms. POMs adsorbed on metal surfaces have many promising technological applications. These include, among others, new heterogeneous catalysts for industrial oxidation of hydrocarbons, new electrocatalysts for hydrogen production and oxygen reduction in fuel cell applications, new electron transfer mediators for chemical sensors, and new corrosion inhibitors for replacing the still widely-used yet toxic chromate inhibitors. However, POM surface chemistry is poorly understood. This project is directed toward the heart of POM surface chemistry. the chemsorption of POMs on electrode surfaces. Electrochemical NMR and infrared spectroscopies will be developed to investigate metal-POM bonding interaction as a function of local chemical environment and of electrode potential. The potential societal impacts of this project are numerous.

3. Catalytic Properties at Real-World Bimetallic Surfaces.  The objective of this project is to use a novel interdisciplinary approach, which draws diverse strengths from in situ surface electrochemical nuclear magnetic resonance (EC-NMR), infrared spectroscopy, and interfacial electrochemistry, to investigate the physical and chemical properties of electrochemically-engineered nanoscale bimetallic surfaces in order to establish relationships between surface electronic/structural/dynamic properties and catalytic reactivity in these real-world bimetallic catalysts with many industrial applications. This project will provide unique insights into electronic structure. reactivity relationships for real-world bimetallic catalysts and make significant contributions toward establishing a bridge between low-surface-area models and high-surface-area industrial catalysts, thereby furthering our understanding of surface science in general and bimetallic catalysis in particular.

4. Development of Electrochemical NMR Spectroscopy.  Enhancing mass detection sensitivity is a constant challenge for applying solid-state NMR to surface, interface, and nanoscience. New venues, such as low-temperature preamplifier system, microcoil and toroidal detection, polarization transfer, as well as coupling NMR with other sensitive techniques, will be explored along the progress of above research projects.

Recent Publications

Augusta M. Levendorf, De-Jun Chen, Christopher L. Rom, Yangwei Liu, and YuYe J. Tong, “Electrochemical and in situ ATR-SEIRAS Investigation of Methanol and CO Electrooxidation on PVP-Free Cubic and Octahedral/Tetrahedral Pt Nanoparticles”, RSC Adv, 2014, 4, 21284 – 21293.

 In-Su Park and YuYe J. Tong, “Sulfide-Adsorption-Enhanced Oxygen Reduction Reaction on Carbon-Supported Pt Electrocatalyst ”,Electrocatal., 2013, 4, 117-122. (Issue Cover Lett.)

YuYe J. Tong, “Unconventional Promoters of Catalytic Activity in Fuel Cell Electrocatalysis”, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 8195-8209.

Oksana Zaluzhna, Ying Li, Thomas C. Allison, YuYe J. Tong, “Inverse-Micelle-Encapsulated Water-Enabled Bond Breaking of Dialkye-Diselenide/Disulfide: a Critical Step for Synthesizing High-Quality Au Nanoparticles”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 17991-17996.  

Ying Li, Oksana Zaluzhna, Bolian Xu, Yuan Gao, Jacob M. Modest, YuYe J. Tong, “Mechanistic insights into the Brust-Schiffrin two-phase synthesis of organo-chalcogenate-protected metal nanoparticles”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 2092-2095.

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