Lior completed his post-doctoral studies as a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Oxford working on bio-nanoelectrochemistry under the tutelage of Prof. Richard. G. Compton. Before this, he completed his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2014 working on solid-state bioelectronics under the supervision of Prof. David Cahen and Prof. Mordechai Sheves. Lior’s research is centered around electrochemistry and bioelectrochemistry, including the study of enzyme catalysis and the development of a new generation of biosensors.
Electrochemistry is experiencing a "renaissance" in recent years in the fields of organic electrosynthesis, battery engineering, and "single-entity electrochemistry." Using a set of electrodes, we can probe reduction or oxidation reactions of species in solution or in the form of immobilized films on conductive surface. Using state-of-the-art potentiostatic and galvanostatic modes, we can learn about the thermodynamics of the reaction and the kinetics of charge transfer. In the lab, we are exploring charge transfer phenomena both at the macroscopic level and at the individual molecule level. Some of the main interests are:
Our lab is focused on the interface between biological molecules and conductive materials. We explore complex reactions such as protein-DNA binding, enzymatic electrocatalysis, and coacervate-influenced redox reactions. For all of these complex biological systems, we have a common theme of investigating and unraveling the mechanism of charge transfer.
We are interested in understanding how electrocatalysis occurs at the molecular level and compare this to the "classical" ensemble reaction. We are specifically interested in nano-scale phenomena that are related to sustainable energy production (.e.g. hydrogen evolution, ammonia oxidation, polymer charging).
Shifting from using inorganic molecules to organic biological molecules as the source of reducing agent for nanoparticle synthesis is in demand. However, control of the size and shape of the nanoparticles using biological reducing agents is thus-far limited. Our lab is focusing on expanding the scope of biomolecules that can be used for nanoparticle synthesis, with our main interest lying in both the mechanisms for nanoparticle formation and in the applications that may arise.
Liquid-cell TEM Coupled to Electrocatalysis
One of the main efforts in electrocatalysis is to couple between structure and catalytic efficiency. With state of the art microscopy, we are now able to probe reactions in solution with nanometer resolution. Coupling low-noise electrochemical set-ups to this high-resolution technique enables us to correlate between the two, satisfying both advanced imaging capabilities and cutting-edge femtoampere detection of heterogeneous charge injection.
“Nanoimpacts at Active and Partially Active Electrodes: Insights and Limitations” B. Roehrich and L. Sepunaru* Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, pp 2–11. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anie.202007148
“Does Nitrate Reductase Play a Role in Silver Nanoparticle Synthesis? Evidence for NADPH as the Sole Reducing Agent.” S. Hietzschold, A. Walter, C. Davis, A.A. Taylor, and L. Sepunaru; ACS Sus.Chem. Eng. 2019, 79, pp 8070-8076. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b00506
“Symmetric Phthalocyanine Charge Carrier for Dual Redox Flow Battery/Capacitor Applications.” C. Hunt, M. Mattejat, C. Anderson, L. Sepunaru and G. Ménard; ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2019, 2, pp 5391–5396. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsaem.9b01317
“Electrochemical Red Blood Cell Counting: One at a Time.” L. Sepunaru, S.V. Sokolov, J. Holter, N.P. Young and R.G. Compton; Angew. Chem., 2016, 128, pp 9920-9923. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ange.201605310/full
“Rapid Electrochemical Detection of Single Influenza Viruses Tagged with Silver Nanoparticles.” L. Sepunaru, B.J. Plowman, S.V. Sokolov, N.P. Young and R.G. Compton; Chemical Science., 2016, 7, pp 3892-3899. http://pubs.rsc.org/is/content/articlehtml/2016/sc/c6sc00412a
“Electronic Transport via Homopeptides: The Role of Side Chains and Secondary Structure.” L. Sepunaru, S. Refaely-Abramson, R. Lovrinčić, Y. Gavrilov, P. Agrawal,Y. Levy, L. Kronik, I.Pecht, M. Sheves, and D. Cahen; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, pp 9617–9626. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.5b03933
“Electrochemical detection of single E. coli bacteria labeled with silver nanoparticles.” L. Sepunaru , K. Tschulik , C. Batchelor-McAuley, R. Gavish and R.G. Compton; Biomaterials Science., 2015, 3, pp 816-820. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2015/bm/c5bm00114e
“Electronic Transport via Proteins.” N Amdursky , D Marchak , L. Sepunaru , I. Pecht , M. Sheves , and D. Cahen; Advanced Materials., 2014, 26, pp 7142- 7161.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201402304/full
“Temperature-Dependent Solid-State Electron Transport through Bacteriorhodopsin: Experimental Evidence for Multiple Transport Paths through Proteins.” L. Sepunaru, N. Friedman, I. Pecht, M. Sheves and D. Cahen; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, pp 4169–4176. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja2097139
“Proteins as Electronic Materials: Electron Transport through Solid-State Protein Monolayer Junctions.” I.Ron, L. Sepunaru, S. Itzhakov, T. Belenkova, N. Friedman, I. Pecht, M. Sheves and D. Cahen; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, pp 4131–4140. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja907328r