Alfred B. Anderson

Emeritus Professor

Millis 228

Other Information

Education: PhD, Johns Hopkins University


Materials, Physical Chemistry, Electrocatalysis, Interfacial Phenomena, Catalysis, Theoretical Chemistry


  • AB, Cornell University, 1964
  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 1970
  • Research Associate, Indiana University and Cornell University, 1971-74
  • J. Willard Gibbs Instructor, Yale University, 1975-77

Research Interests

The primary effort of the lab is the conceptual development for understanding the electrochemical interface.  He has, since 1998, been developing models based on self-consistent Gaussian and VASP quantum calculations for predicting reversible potentials (via a linear Gibbs energy relationship) and electrode potential-dependent activation energies for electron and proton transfer reactions at the electrochemical interface (via constrained variation theory for local reaction center models).  This effort supplants his prior work using his semiempirical non-self-consistant ASED molecular and band theory approach to getting rather approximate bond energies and electrode potential dependencies based on parametric shifts of the electrode valence band.  Recently, a self-consistent theory was developed in his lab by Dr. Ryosuke Jinnouchi, a visiting scientist from Toyota Central Research and Development in Japan.  It includes all aspects of the electrochemical interface, including surface charging, solvation by means of a dielectric continuum model, and  self-consistently determined double layer structure.  His group is using all three approaches, emphasizing fuel cell reactions to understand the effects of electrode composition, coverage, and potential as well as the solvation and the double layer structure on the formation of reaction intermediates. His work has led to the concept of effective reversible potential, which is changing the way scientists understand electrocatalysis and will help guide the discovery of more active catalysts

Brief Vita

Selected Publications

  1. A. B. Anderson, Perspective on Theories for Reversible Potentials for Reactions Taking Place on Electrode Surfaces, J. Electroanal. Chem. 898, 115926 (2021).
  2. A. B. Anderson and E. F. Holby, Pathways for O2 Electroreduction over Substitutional FeN4, HOFeN4, and OFeN4 in Graphene Bulk Sites: Critical Evaluation of Overpotential Predictions Using LGER and CHE Models, J. Phys. Chem. C 123, 18398-18409 (2019).
  3. A. B. Anderson, Pourbaix Diagrams for H2O Oxidation to Adsorbed OH on Pt(111) and Why They Differ from Those for Bulk Solids, J. Phys. Chem. C 122, 9958–9964(2018).
  4. M. Zhao and A. B. Anderson, Predicting the Double Layer Width on Pt(111) in Acid and Base with Theory and Extracting It from Experimental Voltammograms, J. Phys Chem. C 121, 28051-28064 (2017).
  5. M. Zhao and A. B. Anderson, Prediction pH Dependencies of Electrode Surface Reactions in Electrocatalysis, Electrochem. Communications 69, 64-67, (2016).
  6. A. B. Anderson and M. Zhao, Reaction Energy for an Electrode Surface Atom Inserting into an R-H Bond and its Dependence on Electrode Potential: Application to Pt(111), J. Electrochem. Soc., 162, H583-H589 (2015).
  7. A. Asiri and A. B. Anderson, Mechanisms for Ethanol Electrooxidation on Pt(111) and Adsorption Bond Strengths Defining the Ideal Catalyst, J. Electrochem. Soc., 162 (1) F115-F122 (2015).
  8. H. A. Asiri and A. B. Anderson, Using Gibbs Energies to Calculate the Pt(111) Hupd Cyclic Voltammogram, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2013, 117, 17509-17513
  9. A. B. Anderson, R. Jinnouchi, and J. Uddin, Effective Reversible Potentials and Onset Potentials for O2 Electroreduction on Transition Metal Electrodes: Theoretical Analysis, J. Phys. Chem. C 117, 41-48 (2013).
  10. A. B. Anderson, Insights into Electrocatalysis, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 14, 1330-1338 (2012).
  11. A. B. Anderson, Volcano Plots and Effective Reversible Potentials for Oxygen Electroreduction Electrocatalysis 3, 176-182 (2012).
  12. F. Tian and A. B. Anderson, Effective Reversible Potentials, Energy Loss, and Overpotential on Platinum Fuel Cell Cathodes, J. Phys. Chem. C 115, 7076-7088 (2011).

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