Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Electrochemistry controlled with a plasma electrode

Abstract:
Engineers at Case Western Reserve University have made an electrochemical cell that uses a plasma for an electrode, instead of solid pieces of metal.

Electrochemistry controlled with a plasma electrode

Cleveland, OH | Posted on October 20th, 2011

The technology may open new pathways for battery and fuel cell design and manufacturing, making hydrogen fuel and synthesizing nanomaterials and polymers.

A description of the research is now published in the online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society at pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja207547b.

"Plasmas formed at ambient conditions are normally sparks which are uncontrolled, unstable and destructive," said Mohan Sankaran, a chemical engineering professor and senior author of the paper. "We've developed a plasma source that is stable at atmospheric pressure and room temperature which allows us to study and control the transfer of electrons across the interface of a plasma and an electrolyte solution."

Sankaran worked with former students Carolyn Richmonds and Brandon Bartling, current students Megan Witzke and Seung Whan Lee and fellow chemical engineering professors Jesse Wainright and Chung-Chiun Liu.

The group used a traditional set up with their nontraditional electrode.

They filled an electrochemical cell, essentially two glass jars joined with a glass tube, with an electrolyte solution of potassium ferricyanide and potassium chloride.

For the cathode, argon gas was pumped through a stainless steel tube that was placed a short distance above the solution. A microplasma formed between the tube and the surface.

The anode was a piece of silver/silver chloride.

When a current was passed through the plasma, electrons reduced ferricyanide to ferrocyanide.

Monitoring with ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry showed the solution was reduced at a relatively constant rate and that each ferrycyanide molecule was reduced to one ferrocyanide molecule.

As the current was raised, the rate of reduction increased. And testing at both electrodes showed no current was lost.

The researchers, however, found two drawbacks.

Only about one in 20 electrons transferred from the plasma was involved in the reduction reaction. They speculate the lost electrons were converting hydrogen in the water to hydrogen molecules, or that other reactions they were unable to monitor were taking place. They are setting up new tests to find out.

Additionally, the power needed to form the plasma and induce the electrochemical reactions was substantially higher than that required to induce the reaction with metal cathodes.

The researchers know their first model may not be as efficient as what most industries need, but the technology has potential to be used in a number of ways.

Working with Sankaran, Seung has scanned a plasma over a thin film to reduce metal cations to crystalline metal nanoparticles in a pattern.

"The goal is to produce nanostructures at the same small scale as can be done now with lithography in a vacuum, but in an open room," Seung said.

They are investigating whether the plasma electrode can replace traditional electrodes where they've come up short, from converting hydrogen in water to hydrogen gas on a large scale to reducing carbon dioxide to useful fuels and commodity chemicals such as ethanol.

The researchers are fine-tuning the process and testing for optimal combinations of electrode design and chemical reactions for different uses.

"This is a basic idea," Sankaran said. "We don't know where it will go."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Kevin Mayhood

216-368-4442

Copyright © Case Western Reserve University

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

Bosch announces high-performance MEMS acceleration sensors for wearables June 27th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium June 27th, 2017

Picosunís ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Chemistry

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

New carbon nitride material coupled with ruthenium enhances visible-light CO2 reduction in water June 15th, 2017

Learning with light: New system allows optical ďdeep learningĒ: Neural networks could be implemented more quickly using new photonic technology June 12th, 2017

Electrocatalyst nanostructures key to improved fuel cells, electrolyzers June 5th, 2017

Discoveries

Picosunís ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Alloying materials of different structures offers new tool for controlling properties June 19th, 2017

Smart materials used in ultrasound behave similar to water, Penn chemists report June 16th, 2017

Announcements

Bosch announces high-performance MEMS acceleration sensors for wearables June 27th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium June 27th, 2017

Picosunís ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Smart materials used in ultrasound behave similar to water, Penn chemists report June 16th, 2017

X-ray Study Reveals Way to Control Molecular Vibrations that Transmit Heat: Findings open new pathway for "tuning" materials to ease or insulate against the flow of heat, sound, and other forms of energy June 7th, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Fuel Cells

Electrocatalyst nanostructures key to improved fuel cells, electrolyzers June 5th, 2017

Stanford scientists use nanotechnology to boost the performance of key industrial catalyst May 18th, 2017

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

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