Tested for hydrogen in metal oxides, the discovery could have a broad range of technological impact. The research is available today in the advance online publication of Nature Materials.
Professor Chris G. Van de Walle and Project Scientist Anderson Janotti, both of the Materials Department of the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, have shown that multi-coordinated hydrogen is a likely explanation for electronic conductivity in metal oxides. Metal oxides are widely used in everything from sunscreen to sensors.
Hydrogen, the simplest of the elements (consisting of one proton and one electron) is typically expected to exhibit simple chemistry when forming molecules or solids. Hydrogen atoms almost always form a single bond to just one other atom, leading to a two-center bond with two electrons. Exceptions to the rule are rare; there are only a few cases when hydrogen bonds simultaneously to two other atoms, forming a three-center bond.
Hydrogen can replace an oxygen atom and form a multicenter bond with adjacent metal atoms. For example, in ZnO, hydrogen equally bonds to the four surrounding Zn atoms, becoming fourfold coordinated. These multicenter bonds are highly stable and explain previously puzzling variations in conductivity as a function of temperature and oxygen pressure. The results suggest that hydrogen can be used as a substitutional dopant in oxides, a concept that is counterintuitive and should be of wide interest to researchers.
Barbara B. Gray | EurekAlert!
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Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
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Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
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20.08.2018 | Information Technology