Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Improving Energy Storage: Neutron Scattering Technique Provides New Data on Adsorption of Ions in Microporous Materials

This schematic shows the experimental setup for in-situ studies of ion adsorption on the surface of microporous carbon electrodes. Credit: Gleb Yushin
This schematic shows the experimental setup for in-situ studies of ion adsorption on the surface of microporous carbon electrodes.

Credit: Gleb Yushin

Abstract:
The adsorption of ions in microporous materials governs the operation of technologies as diverse as water desalination, energy storage, sensing and mechanical actuation. Until now, however, researchers attempting to improve the performance of these technologies haven't been able to directly and unambiguously identify how factors such as pore size, pore surface chemistry and electrolyte properties affect the concentration of ions in these materials as a function of the applied potential.

Improving Energy Storage: Neutron Scattering Technique Provides New Data on Adsorption of Ions in Microporous Materials

Atlanta, GA | Posted on February 28th, 2013

To provide the needed information, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated that a technique known as small angle neutron scattering (SANS) can be used to study the effects of ions moving into nanoscale pores. Believed to be the first application of the SANS technique for studying ion surface adsorption in-situ, details of the research were reported recently in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Using conductive nanoporous carbon, the researchers conducted proof-of-concept experiments to measure changes in the adsorption of hydrogen ions in pores of different sizes within the same material due to variations in solvent properties and applied electrical potential. Systematic studies performed with such a technique could ultimately help identify the optimal pore size, surface chemistry and electrolyte solvent properties necessary for either maximizing or minimizing the adsorption of ions under varying conditions.

"We need to understand this system better so we can predict the kind of surface chemistry required and the kinds of solvents needed to control the levels of ion penetration and adsorption in pores of different sizes," said Gleb Yushin, an associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering. "Understanding these processes better could lead to the development of improved energy storage, water purification and desalination systems. This new experimental methodology may also give us paths to better understand ion transport in biological systems and contribute to the development of improved drugs and artificial organs."

The research was supported partially by the U.S. Army Research Office, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

"The advantage of neutron scattering is that it can be used to study real systems," said Yushin. "You can study most electrode materials and electrolyte combinations as long as they have a high sensitivity for neutron scattering."

Yushin and his collaborators - Georgia Tech graduate research assistant Sofiane Boukhalfa, and Oak Ridge scientists Yuri Melnichenko and Lilin He - conducted the research using ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor, which produces a beam of high-energy neutrons. Their experimental setup allowed them to immerse activated carbon fabric samples - each sample containing pores of different sizes - in different electrolyte materials while varying the applied electrical potential.

By measuring how the neutron beam was scattered when it passed through the carbon fabric and electrolytes, the researchers could determine how the solvent, pore size and electrical potential affected the average ion concentration in the carbon material samples.

"You can learn whether the ions get adsorbed into small pores or large pores by simply comparing the changes in the neutron scattering," Yushin explained. "This experimental technique allows us to independently change the surface chemistry to see how that affects the ion concentrations, and we can use different solvents to observe how the interaction between electrolyte and pore walls affects the ion adsorption in pores of different sizes. We can further identify exactly where the ion adsorption takes place even when no potential is applied to an electrode."

Earlier work in this area had not provided clear results.

"There have been multiple prior studies on the pore size effect, but different research groups worldwide have obtained contradictory results depending on the material selection and the model used to determine the specific surface area and pore size distribution in carbon electrodes," Yushin said. "Neutron scattering should help us clarify existing controversies. We have already observed that depending on the solvent-pore wall interactions, either enhanced or reduced ion electro-adsorption may take place in sub-nanometer pores."

In their experiments, the researchers used two different electrolytes: water containing sulfuric acid and deuterium oxide - also known as heavy water - which also contained sulfuric acid. The two were chosen for the proof-of-concept experiments, though a wide range of other hydrogen-containing electrolytes could also be used.

Now that the technique has been shown to work, Yushin would like to expand the experimentation to develop better fundamental understanding about the complex interactions of solvent, ions and pore walls under applied potential. That could allow development of a model that could guide the design of future systems that depend on ion transport and adsorption.

"Once you gain the fundamental knowledge from SANS experiments, predictive theoretical models could be developed that would guide the synthesis of the optimal structures for these applications," he said. "Once you clearly understand the structure-property relationships, you can use materials science approaches to design and synthesize the optimal material with the desired properties."

Information developed through the research could lead to improvements in supercapacitors and hybrid battery-capacitor devices for rapidly growing applications in hybrid electrical vehicles, energy efficient industrial equipment, smart grid-distributed energy storage, hybrid-electric and electrical ships, high-power energy storage for wind power and uninterruptible power supplies.

This research was partially supported by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the U.S. Army Research Office under contract number W911NF-12-1-0259. The research at ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor was sponsored by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program and the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy. The conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the U.S. Army Research Office or the Department of Energy.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Research News
Georgia Institute of Technology
177 North Avenue
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0181

John Toon
404-894-6986

Copyright © Georgia Institute of Technology

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 Links

CITATION: Boukhalfa, S., et al., “Small-Angle Neutron Scattering for In Situ Probing of Ion Adsorption Inside Micropores.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed (2013):

Related News Press

News and information

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Chemistry

A new way to display the 3-D structure of molecules: Metal-organic frameworks provide a new platform for solving the structure of hard-to-study samples August 21st, 2016

Researchers watch catalysts at work August 19th, 2016

Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal, to host its first ever International Meeting on Material Sciences and Engineering August 15th, 2016

Laboratories

A new way to display the 3-D structure of molecules: Metal-organic frameworks provide a new platform for solving the structure of hard-to-study samples August 21st, 2016

Scientists uncover origin of high-temperature superconductivity in copper-oxide compound: Analysis of thousands of samples reveals that the compound becomes superconducting at an unusually high temperature because local electron pairs form a 'superfluid' that flows without resist August 19th, 2016

Let's roll: Material for polymer solar cells may lend itself to large-area processing: 'Sweet spot' for mass-producing polymer solar cells may be far larger than dictated by the conventional wisdom August 12th, 2016

NREL technique leads to improved perovskite solar cells August 11th, 2016

Marine/Watercraft

Tracing barnacle's footprint August 19th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

New approach to determining how atoms are arranged in materials August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

Sensors

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

'Sniffer plasmons' could detect explosives: Scientists have proposed a graphene-based spaser that can detect even small amounts of various substances, including explosives August 16th, 2016

Perpetual 'ice water': Stable solid-liquid state revealed in nanoparticles: Gallium nanoparticles that are both solid and liquid are stable over a range of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit August 5th, 2016

Discoveries

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Announcements

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Tools

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

University of Puerto Rico and NASA back in the news – XEI reports August 23rd, 2016

Military

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Nanoparticles that speed blood clotting may someday save lives August 23rd, 2016

Curbing the life-long effects of traumatic brain injury August 19th, 2016

Lab team spins ginger into nanoparticles to heal inflammatory bowel disease August 19th, 2016

Energy

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

Water

SLAC, Stanford gadget grabs more solar energy to disinfect water faster: Plopped into water, a tiny device triggers the formation of chemicals that kill microbes in minutes August 15th, 2016

New method for making green LEDs enhances their efficiency and brightness July 30th, 2016

Dirty to drinkable: Engineers develop novel hybrid nanomaterials to transform water July 28th, 2016

New nontoxic process promises larger ultrathin sheets of 2-D nanomaterials July 27th, 2016

Automotive/Transportation

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

Researchers watch catalysts at work August 19th, 2016

Stanford-led team reveals nanoscale secrets of rechargeable batteries August 8th, 2016

New X-Ray microscopy technique images nanoscale workings of rechargeable batteries: Method developed at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source could help researchers improve battery performance August 7th, 2016

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

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 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