Dr. Justus Masa - Materials Electrochemistry

Scientific Staff and coordinator of activities in the area of Materials Electrochemistry

Group: Electrochemistry


Research Interests

Unlocking fundamental barriers on the path towards the hydrogen economy and developing the next generation of high energy density battery systems, including metal-air batteries for both portable and stationary applications. This includes among others.

  • Knowledge-guided design and in-depth characterization of electrocatalysts for electrosynthesis and electrochemical energy applications.
  • Understanding the nature of active sites of electrocatalysts under reaction conditions by employing advanced operando spectroscopic techniques, e.g. XAFS, Raman and ATR-TFIR, among others, to monitor structural dynamics under electrochemical polarization.
  • Structure-activity correlation of electrocatalysts by combining theory and experiment
  • Development of low-Cost, high performance electrocatalysts for energy applications

Research Experience

  • Staff Scientist and coordinator of activities in area of Materials Electrochemistry at Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Mülheim an der Ruhr; 2020 –
  • Group Leader Electrocatalysis and Energy Conversion, Center for Electrochemical Sciences (CES), Ruhr-University Bochum; 2015-2019.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Advisor - Prof. Wolfgang Schuhmann), Department for Analytical Chemistry, Ruhr-University Bochum; 2014 – 2015.
  • Academic Guest/Postdoc (Advisor – Prof. Richard Compton), Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford; 2013.
  • PhD student, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany; 2008-2012 (Advisor Prof. Wolfgang Schuhmann).

Research Awards

[1]  Rubitec Inventor Award 2014, Electrocatalytic water splitting using metal borides

[2]  Rubitec Inventor Award 2010, Method for Production of a Metal-Free Carbon Catalyst



1. Metal-free catalyst for oxygen reduction in alkaline electrolyte:

  • EP Patent 2397439
  • PCT/EP2011/060050
  • WO Patent 2011157800
  • US Patent 20130157843

2.Bifunctional catalysts for water oxidation and oxygen reduction

  • DE 102013211356
  • PCT/EP2014/062750
  • WO/2014/202628

3. Metal borides, nitrogen-doped metal borides and boron-containing metal nanoparticles for water splitting and oxygen reduction. German Patent: DE102014226464A1

4. Self-healing catalytic films; European Patent Application, Number: 17150558


Academic publications

The complete up-to-date list of the publications can be accessed from google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=3O2I5BcAAAAJ&hl=en


Selected Publications

[1]  P. Wilde, S. Dieckhöfer, T. Quast, W. Xiang, A. Bhatt, Y-T. Chen, S. Seisel, S. Barwe, C. Andronescu, T. Li, W. Schuhmann, J. Masa. Insights into the Formation, Chemical Stability, and Activity of Transient NiyP@NiOx Core–Shell Heterostructures for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction. ACS Applied Energy Materials. Vol 3 (3) (2020) 2304-2309. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaem.9b02481.

[2]  J. Masa, C. Andronescu, W. Schuhmann. Electrocatalysis as the Nexus for Sustainable Renewable Energy: The Gordian Knot of Activity, Stability, and Selectivity. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Vol 59 (36) (2020), 15298-15312. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202007672.

[3]  J. Masa, W. Schuhmann. Breaking scaling relations in electrocatalysis. J. Solid State Electrochemistry. 24 (9) (2020), 2181-2182. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10008-020-04757-1

[4]  Zeradjanin, A. R., Masa, J., Spanos, I., Schlögl, R. (2021) Activity and Stability of Oxides During Oxygen Evolution Reaction---From Mechanistic Controversies Toward Relevant Electrocatalytic Descriptors. Frontiers in Energy Research,8: 613092. doi:10.3389/fenrg.2020.613092.

[5]  I. Spanos, J. Masa, A. Zeradjanin, R. Schlögl. The effect of iron impurities on transition metal catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction in alkaline environment: activity mediators or active sites? Catalysis Letters, 151 (7) (2021), 1843-1856. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10562-020-03478-4

[6]  Zeradjanin, A.R., Spanos, I., Masa, J., Rohwerder, M., Schlögl, R. (2020). Perspective on experimental evaluation of adsorption energies at solid/liquid interfaces J. Solid State Electrochemistry.DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10008-020-04815-8.

[7]  J. Masa, S. Barwe, C. Andronescu, W. Schuhmann. On the theory of electrolytic dissociation, the greenhouse effect, and activation energy in (Electro) catalysis: a tribute to Svante Augustus Arrhenius. Chem. Eur. J. 25 (1) (2019), 158-166. DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.201805264


Book Chapters

[1]  J. Masa, E. Ventosa, W. Schuhmann. Application of scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) to study electrocatalysis of oxygen reduction by MN4-macrocyclic complexes; In Electrochemistry of MN4 Macrocyclic Complexes.Springer (2016). Print ISBN: 978-3-319-31170-8; Electronic ISBN: 978-3-319-31172-2; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31172-2

[2]  J. Masa, K. Ozoemena, W. Schuhmann and J. H. Zagal. Fundamental studies on the electrocatalytic properties of metal macrocyclics and other complexes for the electrore­duction of O2; In Electrocatalysis in Fuel Cells: A Non-Platinum and Low Platinum Approach. Springer. (2013). Print ISBN: 978-1-4471-4910-1; Electronic ISBN: 978-1-4471-4911-8; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-4911-8

[3]  Li, X., Masa, J., Sun, Z. (2020). Recent Advances in Electrode Materials for Electrochemical CO2 Reduction ACS Symposium Series vol 1364: Clean Energy Materials 49-91. ACS Symposium Series Vol. 1364. ISBN13: 9780841298620; Electronic ISBN: 9780841298613; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/bk-2020-1364.ch002.