Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World’s First Success in In Situ Tracking of Electrochemical Reactions at Solid/Liquid Interfaces by Photoelectron Spectroscopy

31.10.2013
The results may elucidate the process at solid/liquid interfaces of energy devices like rechargeable batteries and fuel cells. It will also contribute to the development and performance of cell electrodes and catalyst materials.
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
Japan Science and Technology Agency
A research group led by NIMS GREEN and JST, in collaboration with WPI-MANA and the Synchrotron X-ray Station at SPring-8, developed a new measurement system using high-energy X-rays of SPring-8 and a Si thin-membrane window. Through this achievement, the group succeeded for the first time in the world in tracking electrochemical reactions at solid/liquid interfaces in situ by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, which could only be used for measurement in a vacuum in the past.

Layout of the In Situ XPS Measurement System

A research group led by Prof. Dr. Kohei Uosaki, Research Manager of the Batteries and Fuel Cells Field at the Global Research Center for Environment and Energy based on Nanomaterials Science (GREEN) of the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Dr. Takuya Masuda, Researcher of the Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO) program at the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), in collaboration with NIMS International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA) and the Synchrotron X-ray Station at SPring-8, developed a new measurement system using high-energy X-rays of SPring-8 and a silicon (Si) thin-membrane window. Through this achievement, the group succeeded for the first time in the world in tracking electrochemical reactions at solid/liquid interfaces in situ by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), which could only be used for measurement in a vacuum in the past.

A solid/liquid interface is an important part that converts and uses energy in familiar energy devices, such as fuel cells and solar cells. Recent research and development which aims to maximize the efficiency of energy use faces the need to break away from materials development dependent on empirical rules and to adopt clear evaluation methods that enable strategic materials design. Accordingly, there has been a strong desire for methods to directly observe and measure the dynamic behavior of reactions at solid/liquid interfaces in the environment where the reactions are taking place (in situ). Meanwhile, XPS is a method to investigate the surface species and oxidation states of the surface of a substance by irradiating the substance with X-rays and analyzing the energy of the photoelectrons emitted from the elements on the surface. Conventionally, XPS could only be used for measurement in a vacuum, and could not be used to directly observe the reactions at solid/liquid interfaces in situ.

The research group succeeded in observing the electrochemical reactions at a solid/liquid interface in a non-vacuum environment in situ by having high-energy synchrotron X-rays of SPring-8 penetrate through a thin Si membrane window with a thickness of 15 nm. Specifically, the group developed a measurement system that uses a thin Si membrane as a window for transmitting X-rays and photoelectrons, as a barrier separating a vacuum and a liquid, and as an electrode for electrochemical reactions, and uses the high-energy synchrotron X-rays of SPring-8 to detect, on the vacuum side (through the thin membrane), the photoelectrons that have been emitted at the interface between the thin Si membrane window (solid) and the liquid. With this system, the group succeeded in in situ observation of potential-induced Si oxide growth in water.

The research results are expected to further elucidate the process at solid/liquid interfaces of major energy devices such as rechargeable batteries and fuel cells. At the same time, they are expected to contribute to the development and better performance of important parts such as cell electrodes and catalyst materials as a result of clarifying the reaction mechanism and problems in existing materials. In particular, quantitative investigation of the composition and oxidation states of interfaces, which was difficult in the past, becomes possible, which helps illuminate the deterioration mechanism of electrodes and electrolytes through identification of side reactions and the products of the reactions. Also, since XPS has been used for materials design and development in diverse fields including the industrial field and the medical field, the research results are expected to contribute to elucidating the mechanism of a broad range of phenomena in which interface reactions play an important role in those fields.

This research was conducted as part of the “Program for Development of Environmental Technology using Nanotechnology” entrusted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and as part of the “Phase Interfaces for Highly Efficient Energy Utilization” research domain (Research Supervisor: Nobuhide Kasagi) of Individual Type Research (PRESTO) of the JST Strategic Basic Research Program, and the research results were published in the online preliminary edition of Applied Physics Letters, an applied physics journal published by the American Institute of Physics, at 3:00 a.m., September 13, 2013 (JST).

Mikiko Tanifuji | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.nims.go.jp/eng/news/press/2013/10/p201309180.html
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Superconductivity research reveals potential new state of matter
17.08.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

nachricht Spray-on electric rainbows: Making safer electrochromic inks
17.08.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>