Professor David Zitoun

Nanomaterials at Surfaces

Zitoun Laboratory

Bar Ilan University, Department of Chemistry – Bar Ilan Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA)


Electrocatalysts in Alkaline Environment (Fuel Cells) with PO CellTech

Whereas research on oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts in the alkaline medium has only now begun, studies on hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) catalysts for alkaline membrane fuel cells (AMFCs) constitute an entirely unexplored field. When looking for non-Pt catalyst candidates towards HOR, it was found that any other known catalyst exhibit 5 to 10 times lower activity than Pt in alkaline medium. Those fundamental studies of HOR for AMFCs emphasize the need for alternative, inexpensive HOR-catalysts for the successful development of the AMFC technology and suggest the role of oxophilic surface species for the promotion of HOR. The role of PGM with balanced HBE and the ability to promote oxophilic have yet to be demonstrated on a high specific area electrocatalyst in real AMFCs.

In the TEPS magnet, we have joined the research group led by PO CellTech and successfully develop non-PGM electrocatalysts with high activity toward hydrogen oxidation reaction.

Selected Publications:

Palladium/Nickel Bifunctional Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction in Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cell

Masha Alesker, Miles Page, Meital Shviro, Gregory Gershinsky, Yair Paska, Dario Dekel, David ZitounJournal of Power Sources 2016, 304, 332-339  Link

Hollow Octahedral and Cuboctahedral Nanocrystals of Ternary Pt-Ni-Au Alloys Meital Shviro, Shlomi Polani, David Zitoun  Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 13521 link

Pd/Ni Synergestic Activity for Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction in Alkaline Conditions Istvan Bakos, Andras Paszternak, David Zitoun  Electrochimica Acta, 2015, 176, 1074-1082 Link


Nanomaterials and Physical methods for Lithium-ion Batteries with Tadiran Ltd

One of the challenges in energy storage consists in the investigation of high-energy electrode materials and comprehension of the mechanism of lithium uptake. The development of in-situ techniques can provide unique understanding of the mechanisms, successes and failures of electrochemical devices. The development of in-situ (or operando) characterization techniques brings valuable information on chemical processes since the interpretation of ex situ measurements brings a partial picture of the chemical reactions. The nano-composites with silicon offer a unique platform with active elements and probes so that these real-time measurements actually map the electrodes and reveal the nature of their interfaces.

In the Magnet TEPS, we have joined the research group led by Tadiran and ETV and develop diagnostic tools for improving Silicon based anodic materials.

Selected Publications:

Operando Electron Magnetic Measurements in Li-ion Batteries G. Gershinsky, E. Bar, L. Monconduit, D. Zitoun Energy and Environmental Science 2014, 7, 2012 link

Do we Need Covalent Bonding of Si nanoparticles on Graphene Oxide for Li-ion Batteries? Yana Miroshnikov, Gal Grinbom, Gregory Gershinsky, Gilbert D. Nessim, David Zitoun* Faraday Discussions, 2014, 173 (1), 391 – 402 Link

Silicon/hollow g-Fe2O3 Nanoparticles as Efficient Anodes for Li-ion Batteries Gal Grinbom, David Duveau, Gregory Gershinsky, Laure Monconduit, David Zitoun Chemistry of Materials, 2015, 27, 2703-2710 Link


Nanotechnology and Materials: A Bottom-Up Approach to Smarter Materials
As miniaturization is spreading among all fields of technology; one key desired parameter is the control of nanoscale thin films of materials. Currently, most of the control processes are based on the use of physical deposition, which presents severe limitations due to the harsh conditions of temperature and pressure required.

In Zitoun’s lab, the team is working to use wet chemistry deposition as an alternative to thin films. They are exploring two major approaches. The first consists of the colloidal synthesis of nanospheres and nanowires, which are spread on the substrate by wet coating. In the second approach, the molecular precursor is directly targeted to the substrate and reacts in situ.