Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Molecules Are Sensitive to Their Surroundings

Diffraction studies provided the insights needed to understand key molecules in hydrogen storage
Diffraction studies provided the insights needed to understand key molecules in hydrogen storage

Abstract:
Structure of hydrogen storage molecule solved, once orientation of nearby ions elucidated

Molecules Are Sensitive to Their Surroundings

Richland, WA | Posted on February 8th, 2011

Results: For nearly a century, nobody knew how the little molecule that's in the middle of many of today's hydrogen storage and release concepts was organized. Thanks to an interdisciplinary team of scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, the structure of this molecule, known as DADB, has been determined. And DADB's structure was exactly opposite of what was expected in more ways than one.

"The irony," said Dr. Tom Autrey, the PNNL scientist who led the research, "is that the structure could not be that complex." The challenge was in understanding how one structure, containing a pair of nitrogen and boron atoms surrounded by only 12 hydrogen atoms, stretched and twisted in the solid molecular crystal.

Why it matters: Running cars on fossil fuels presents growing problems, economically, politically, and environmentally. Replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen and fuel cells is an attractive option. Determining the structure of DADB, created at the initial stages when hydrogen is released from the popular hydrogen storage material ammonia borane, allows scientists to accurately model and predict complex, molecular reactions in the solid state. Understanding the subtleties of the structure of DADB also provides insights into developing new materials with the perfect properties to store energy in chemical bonds for efficient fuel cell operations.

Methods: The team began by synthesizing the DADB using a new method they developed that allowed the molecular crystal to slowly form at room temperature. They used solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study the molecule. The NMR spectrum of the molecular crystal was surprisingly different than the NMR spectrum of the molecular complex in solution. The team felt that the hydrogen atoms in the molecular crystal might be influencing the arrangement of atoms.

"Theoreticians couldn't accurately predict the structure, and experimentalists weren't getting all the information needed with NMR," said Dr. Gregory Schenter, a chemical theorist on the study. "So, we used neutron diffraction to see the missing pieces. It took a while, but we got that ‘ah-ha' moment."

With the added diffraction data, they could arrange the atoms in a pattern that explained the results they'd seen. "Mark Bowden solved the 100-year-old puzzle," said Autrey of his PNNL colleague. "He showed how the molecule's structure was affected by the interactions with the neighboring molecules."

This research resulted in two different arrangements of borohydride ions (BH4-) giving the molecule its unique twisted structure.

What's next? This work is part of a series of broader efforts at PNNL to answer the fundamental questions around how to activate hydrogen for use in catalytic reactions as well as energy storage in chemical bonds for use in fuel cell applications. These fundamental studies are needed if the United States is to develop novel methods to store energy from solar and other intermittent clean energy sources.

Acknowledgments: The Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences funded this research.

The work was done in DOE's EMSL, a national scientific user facility at PNNL, and the Manuel Lujan Jr. Center operated by Los Alamos National Security LLC.

The work was done by Mark Bowden, David J. Heldebrant, Abhi Karkamkar, Gregory K. Schenter, and Tom Autrey of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory along with Thomas Proffen of Lujan Neutron Scattering Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Reference: Bowden M, DJ Heldebrant, A Karkamkar, T Proffen, GK Schenter, and T Autrey. 2010. "The diammoniate of diborane: Crystal structure and hydrogen release." Chemical Communications 46, 8564-8566.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Thermal modification of wood and a complex study of its properties by magnetic resonance May 26th, 2016

Possible Futures

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Thermal modification of wood and a complex study of its properties by magnetic resonance May 26th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Discoveries

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

PETA science group publishes a review on pulmonary effects of nanomaterials: Archives of Toxicology publishes a review of scientific studies on fibrotic potential of nanomaterials May 26th, 2016

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Announcements

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Tools

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

More light on cancer: Scientists created nanoparticles to highlight cancer cells May 21st, 2016

Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique: Rice University researchers use spectral triangulation to pinpoint location of tumors May 21st, 2016

Energy

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Technique improves the efficacy of fuel cells: Research demonstrates a new phase transition from metal to ionic conductor May 18th, 2016

Automotive/Transportation

Technique improves the efficacy of fuel cells: Research demonstrates a new phase transition from metal to ionic conductor May 18th, 2016

A View Through Wood Shows Futuristic Applications: Transparent wood made at UMD could create new windows, cars and solar panels May 5th, 2016

Speedy ion conduction in solid electrolytes clears road for advanced energy devices May 5th, 2016

New spin Seebeck thermoelectric device with higher conversion efficiency created April 26th, 2016

Fuel Cells

Technique improves the efficacy of fuel cells: Research demonstrates a new phase transition from metal to ionic conductor May 18th, 2016

Ruthenium nanoframes open the doors to better catalysts April 4th, 2016

Saving sunshine for a rainy day: New catalyst offers efficient storage of green energy: Team led by U of T Engineering designs world's most efficient catalyst for storing energy as hydrogen by splitting water molecules March 28th, 2016

Carbon leads the way in clean energy: Groundbreaking research at Griffith University is leading the way in clean energy, with the use of carbon as a way to deliver energy using hydrogen March 23rd, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic