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

Research Reveals Exotic Quantum States in Double-Layer Graphene: Findings shed new light on the nature of electron interactions in quantum systems and establish a potential new platform for future quantum computers June 26th, 2019

Researchers unveil how soft materials react to deformation at molecular level June 24th, 2019

Nanometrics and Rudolph Announce Merger Agreement to Create a Premier Semiconductor Process Control Company June 24th, 2019

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) June 22nd, 2019

Chemistry

Neutrons unlock the secrets of limoncello May 21st, 2019

Army discovery opens path to safer batteries May 10th, 2019

Coal could yield treatment for traumatic injuries: Rice, Texas A&M, UTHealth scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant April 25th, 2019

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials April 19th, 2019

Discoveries

Research Reveals Exotic Quantum States in Double-Layer Graphene: Findings shed new light on the nature of electron interactions in quantum systems and establish a potential new platform for future quantum computers June 26th, 2019

Researchers unveil how soft materials react to deformation at molecular level June 24th, 2019

Ice lithography: opportunities and challenges in 3D nanofabrication June 21st, 2019

Researchers report new understanding of thermoelectric materials: Discovery leads to promising new materials for converting waste heat to power June 21st, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

Researchers unveil how soft materials react to deformation at molecular level June 24th, 2019

Next-gen solar cells spin in new direction: Phosphorene shows efficiency promise June 21st, 2019

Electron-behaving nanoparticles rock current understanding of matter: Discovery will lead to new methods for materials design June 20th, 2019

University of Konstanz researchers create uniform-shape polymer nanocrystals: Researchers from the University of Konstanz's CRC 1214 'Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures' generate uniform-shape nanocrystals using direct polymeriz June 14th, 2019

Announcements

Research Reveals Exotic Quantum States in Double-Layer Graphene: Findings shed new light on the nature of electron interactions in quantum systems and establish a potential new platform for future quantum computers June 26th, 2019

Researchers unveil how soft materials react to deformation at molecular level June 24th, 2019

Nanometrics and Rudolph Announce Merger Agreement to Create a Premier Semiconductor Process Control Company June 24th, 2019

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) June 22nd, 2019

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

Researchers report new understanding of thermoelectric materials: Discovery leads to promising new materials for converting waste heat to power June 21st, 2019

Flexible generators turn movement into energy: Rice University's laser-induced graphene nanogenerators could power future wearables June 2nd, 2019

Russian scientists investigate new materials for Li-ion batteries of miniature sensors: Researchers are developing new materials for solid-state thin-film Li-ion batteries for micro and nanodevices May 31st, 2019

Building next gen smart materials with the power of sound May 28th, 2019

Fuel Cells

Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels May 22nd, 2019

Current generation via quantum proton transfer February 1st, 2019

Researchers use jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst: The inexpensive new material can split water just as efficiently as costly platinum December 14th, 2018

High-performance self-assembled catalyst for SOFC October 12th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project