Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Current generation via quantum proton transfer

05.02.2019

NIMS and Hokkaido University jointly discovered that proton transfer in electrochemical reactions is governed by the quantum tunneling effect (QTE) under the specific conditions.

In addition, they made a first ever observation of the transition between the quantum and classical regimes in electrochemical proton transfer by controlling potential.


(A) proton tunneling through the barrier (quantum). (B) proton transfer via the transition state (classical); In the electrochemical system the relative contribution of the two mechanisms can be tuned by the applied potential.

Credit: NIMS

These results indicated the involvement of QTE in electrochemical proton transfer, a subject of a long-lasting debate, and may accelerate basic research leading to the development of highly efficient electrochemical energy conversion systems based on quantum mechanics.

Many of the state-of-the-art electronic devices and technologies that have realized present modern lives were established based on the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics.

Quantum effects in electrochemical reactions in fuel cells and energy devices are, however, not well understood due to the complex movement of electrons and protons driven by electrochemical reaction processes on the surfaces of electrodes.

As the result, application of quantum effects in electrochemical energy conversion is not as successful as the fields of electronics and spintronics, which surface and interfacial phenomena are equally critical in all of these fields.

Assuming that electrochemical reactions are closely associated with quantum effects, it may be feasible to design highly efficient energy conversion mechanisms based on these effects: including QTE, and devices that take advantage of such mechanisms.

In this study, the NIMS-led research team focused on oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) mechanisms--the key reaction in fuel cells--using deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen having a different mass. As a result, the team confirmed proton tunneling through activation barriers within a small overpotential range.

Furthermore, the team found that an increase in overpotential leads to electrochemical reaction pathways to change to proton transfer based on the semiclassical theory. Thus, this research team discovered the novel physical processes: the transition between the quantum and classical regimes in electrochemical reactions.

This research shows the involvement of QTE in proton transfer during the basic energy conversion processes. This discovery may facilitate investigations of microscopic mechanisms of electrochemical reactions which are not understood in detail. It may also stimulate the development of highly efficient electrochemical energy conversion technology with a working principle based on quantum mechanics, capable of operating beyond the classical regime.

###

This research project was conducted by a research team led by Ken Sakaushi (Senior Researcher, Center for Green Research on Energy and Environmental Materials [C4GR], NIMS), Andrey Lyalin (Special Researcher, C4GR, NIMS) and Tetsuya Taketsugu (Professor, Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery, Creative Research Institution, Hokkaido University). This project was supported by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (Project No. 17K14546), the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (Project No. 15K05387) and the MEXT Program for Development of Environmental Technology using Nanotechnology.

This study was published in Physical Review Letters, a journal of the American Physical Society, on December 7, 2018.

Contacts

(Regarding this research)

Ken Sakaushi
Senior Researcher
Center for Green Research on Energy and Environmental Materials
National Institute for Materials Science
Tel: +81-29-860-4945
Email: SAKAUSHI.Ken=nims.go.jp
(Please change "=" to "@")
URL: https://samurai.nims.go.jp/profiles/sakaushi_ken

Tetsuya Taketsugu
Professor
Quantum Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University;
Creative Research Institution; Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery
Tel: +81-11-706-3535
Email: take=sci.hokudai.ac.jp
(Please change "=" to "@")
URL: https://wwwchem.sci.hokudai.ac.jp/~qc/

(For general inquiries)

Public Relations Office
National Institute for Materials Sciences
Tel: +81-29-859-2026
Fax: +81-29-859-2017
E-Mail: pressrelease=ml.nims.go.jp
(Please change "=" to "@")

Public Relations Division
General Affairs and Planning Department, Hokkaido University
Kita 8, Nishi 5, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0808, Japan
Tel: +81-11-706-2610
Fax: +81-11-706-2092
Email: kouhou@jimu.hokudai.ac.jp

Media Contact

Yasufumi Nakamichi
NAKAMICHI.Yasufumi@nims.go.jp
81-298-592-105

http://www.nims.go.jp/eng/index.html 

Yasufumi Nakamichi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.nims.go.jp/eng/news/press/2018/12/201812110.html
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.236001

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IDMT demonstrates its method for acoustic quality inspection at »Sensor+Test 2019« in Nürnberg

From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap

Im Focus: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

For a better climate in the cities: Start-up develops maintenance-free, evergreen moss façades

25.06.2019 | Architecture and Construction

An ion channel with a doorkeeper: The pH of calcium ions controls ion channel opening

25.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Cooling with the sun

25.06.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>