Mohammad Tavakkoli receives Gustav Komppa award for his exceptional doctoral dissertation in the field of chemistry
The Finnish Chemical Society has awarded Mohammad Tavakkoli the Komppa prize for his doctoral dissertation. The Komppa award is given annually for exceptional quality in theoretical or applied chemistry, and only a maximum of two are awarded each year.
Tavakkoli’s dissertation, titled ‘Modified Carbon Nanomaterials as Active Electrocatalysts’, covers and links different fields of research attracting interest from the fields of energy, electrochemistry, and materials science.
The dissertation, supervised by Professor Kari Laasonen, describes novel synthesis and characterization of diverse nanomaterials. Carbon nanotubes are known for their exceptional performance in a wide variety of applications. In this dissertation, it was shown that nanotubes can also be used to create highly active and durable electrocatalysts by modifying the nanotubes with metals, or organic compounds.
One area where these electrocatalysts can be useful is the electrolysis of water. This is a valuable technique for producing clean hydrogen, and is a large and growing industry.
‘We were successful in designing state-of-the-art electrocatalysts based on new, low-cost and earth-abundant materials for producing hydrogen through water electrolysis. These catalysts could be viable replacements for current commercialized catalysts in water electrolyzers based mainly on expensive and scarce electrocatalysts such as platinum and other noble metals', says Mohammad Tavakkoli.
Tavakkoli works currently as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Nanomaterials Group led by Professor Esko Kauppinen at the Department of Applied Physics of Aalto University. His current research areas are aerosol-based synthesis of nanomaterials and carbon nanotubes, where novel electrode materials are designed for electrochemical energy devices such as fuel cells, water electrolyzers, batteries, and super capacitors.
Gustaf Komppa (1867–1949) was one of Finland's most distinguished chemists. Professor Komppa worked for nearly five decades as a chemistry teacher and researcher at the Helsinki University of Technology. His most recognized achievement is the synthesis of camphoric acid.
Dr. Mohammad Tavakkoli
Image: Dr. Mohamad Tavakkoli with Finnish Chemical Society President Dr. Pekka Joensuu.