Prof. Dr. Tong Li

Atomic-Scale Characterization
Institute for Materials
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Universitätsstr. 150
44803 Bochum
ZGH, Floor 02, Room 109
Phone: +49 (0)234 32-26099
(Appointment by consultation)
Fax: +49(0)234 32-14409

My main research interest is to synthesize and characterize oxide and metallic nanomaterials used for sustainable energy conversion applications such as water splitting and fuel cells. We employ atom probe tomography (APT) in conjunction with electron microscopy and X-ray based spectroscopy to reveal the surface changes of (electro-)catalysts during catalytic reactions, thereby providing mechanistic insights into the activation and deactivation of (electro-)catalysts.
I am also interested in structural materials, such as Ti alloys, used for aerospace and related applications. The research focus is to unravel the early-stage precipitation sequence and phase transformation mechanisms by APT combined with transmission electron microscopy.

New Publications:

1. 3D atomic-scale imaging of mixed Co-Fe spinel oxide nanoparticles during oxygen evolution reaction,
W. Xiang, N. Yang, X. Li, J. Linnemann, U. Hagemann, O. Ruediger, M. Heidelmann, T. Falk, M. Aramini, S. DeBeer, M. Muhler, K. Tschulik, T. Li,
Nature Communications 13(1) (2022) 179.
We use atom probe tomography to elucidate the 3D structure of 10nm sized Co2FeO4 and CoFe2O4 nanoparticles during oxygen evolution reaction (OER). We reveal nanoscale spinodal decomposition in pristine Co2FeO4. Read more..

2. Direct Detection of Surface Species Formed on Iridium Electrocatalysts during the Oxygen Evolution Reaction
A. BalaKrishnan, N. Blanc, U. Hagemann, P. Gemagami, K. Wonner, K. Tschulik, T. Li
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 60(39) (2021) 21396-21403 (2021).
We developed an approach to directly examine the oxidation state and surface composition of nanosized Ir electrodes after oxygen evolution reaction (OER). APT reveals compositional changes in the topmost surface and subsurface on various Ir planes during OER. Read more..

3. B. Gault, A. Chiaramonti, O. Cojocaru-Mirédin, P. Stender, R. Dubosq, C. Freysoldt, S.K. Makineni, T. Li, M. Moody, J.M. Cairney, Atom probe tomography Nature Reviews Methods Primers 1(1) (2021) 51.Read more..

4. S. Wu, K.-Y. Tseng, R. Kato, T.-S. Wu, A. Large, Y.-K. Peng, W.K. Xiang, H. Fang, J. Mo, I. Wilkinson, Y.-L. Soo, G. Held, K. Suenaga, T. Li, H.-Y.T. Chen, S.C.E. Tsang, Rapid Interchangeable Hydrogen, Hydride, and Proton Species at the Interface of Transition Metal Atom on Oxide Surface Journal of the American Chemical Society 143(24) (2021) 9105-9112.Read more..

5. N.T. Yang, Y.H. Zhao, H. Zhang, W.K. Xiang, Y.H. Sun, S. Yang, Y. Sun, G.F. Zeng, K. Kato, X.P. Li, M. Yamauchi, Z. Jiang, T. Li, Sintering Activated Atomic Palladium Catalysts with High-Temperature Tolerance of ~ 1,000℃ , Cell Reports Physical Science 2(1) (2021). Read more..

6. M.J. Lai, T. Li, F.K. Yan, J.S. Li, D. Raabe, Revisiting ω-phase embrittlement in metastable β-titanium alloys: Role of elemental partitioning, Scripta Materialia 193 (2021) 38-42.Read more..

7. S.Q. Jia, L. Bolzoni, T. Li, F. Yang, Unveiling the interface characteristics and their influence on the heat transfer behavior of hot-forged Cu-Cr/Diamond composites, Carbon 172 (2021) 390-401. Read more..



Our recent work in Nature Communications was selected as Editors' highlights.

Our recent work "3D atomic-scale imaging of mixed Co-Fe spinel oxide nanoparticles during oxygen evolution reaction" published in Nature Communications was selected as Editors' highlights. Check it out more interesting work from here..

Catalyst surface analysed at atomic resolution


first article as a submitting corresponding author in Angewandte Chemie


Programmable synthetic materials


Tong Li was appointed as professor