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1.
Langmuir ; 35(51): 16679-16692, 2019 Dec 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31614087

RESUMO

The molecular-scale structure and dynamics of confined liquids has increasingly gained relevance for applications in nanotechnology. Thus, a detailed knowledge of the structure of confined liquids on molecular length scales is of great interest for fundamental and applied sciences. To study confined structures under dynamic conditions, we constructed an in situ X-ray surface forces apparatus (X-SFA). This novel device can create a precisely controlled slit-pore confinement down to dimensions on the 10 nm scale by using a cylinder-on-flat geometry for the first time. Complementary structural information can be obtained by simultaneous force measurements and X-ray scattering experiments. The in-plane structure of liquids parallel to the slit pore and density profiles perpendicular to the confining interfaces are studied by X-ray scattering and reflectivity. The normal load between the opposing interfaces can be modulated to study the structural dynamics of confined liquids. The confinement gap distance is tracked simultaneously with nanometer precision by analyzing optical interference fringes of equal chromatic order. Relaxation processes can be studied by driving the system out of equilibrium by shear stress or compression/decompression cycles of the slit pore. The capability of the new device is demonstrated on the liquid crystal 4'-octyl-4-cyano-biphenyl (8CB) in its smectic A (SmA) mesophase. Its molecular-scale structure and orientation confined in 100 nm to 1.7 µm slit pores was studied under static and dynamic nonequilibrium conditions.

2.
Adv Sci (Weinh) ; 6(16): 1900190, 2019 Aug 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31453057

RESUMO

The interfacial decomposition products forming the so-called solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) significantly determine the destiny of a Li-ion battery. Ultimate knowledge of its detailed behavior and better control are required for higher rates, longer life-time, and increased safety. Employing an electrochemical surface force apparatus, it is possible to control the growth and to investigate the mechanical properties of an SEI in a lithium-ion battery environment. This new approach is here introduced on a gold model system and reveals a compressible film at all stages of SEI growth. The demonstrated methodology provides a unique tool for analyzing electrochemical battery interfaces, in particular in view of alternative electrolyte formulations and artificial interfaces.

3.
Rev Sci Instrum ; 90(4): 043908, 2019 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31043001

RESUMO

Multiple beam interferometry (MBI) evolved as a powerful tool for the simultaneous evaluation of thin film thicknesses and refractive indices in Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA) measurements. However, analysis has relied on simplifications for providing fast or simplified analysis of recorded interference spectra. Here, we describe the implementation of new optics and a generalized fitting approach to 4 × 4 transfer matrix method simulations for the SFA. Layers are described by dispersive complex refractive indices, thicknesses, and Euler angles that can be fitted, providing modeling for birefringent or colored layers. Normalization of data by incident light intensities is essential for the implementation of a fitting approach. Therefore, a modular optical system is described that can be retrofit to any existing SFA setup. Real-time normalization of spectra by white light is realized, alignment procedures are considerably simplified, and direct switching between transmission and reflection modes is possible. A numerical approach is introduced for constructing transfer matrices for birefringent materials. Full fitting of data to the simulation is implemented for arbitrary multilayered stacks used in SFA. This enables self-consistent fitting of mirror thicknesses, birefringence, and relative rotation of anisotropic layers (e.g., mica), evaluation of reflection and transmission mode spectra, and simultaneous fitting of thicknesses and refractive indices of media confined between two surfaces. In addition, a fast full spectral fitting method is implemented for providing a possible real-time analysis with up to 30 fps. We measure and analyze refractive indices of confined cyclohexane, the thickness of lipid bilayers, the thickness of metal layers, the relative rotation of birefringent materials, contact widths, as well as simultaneous fitting of both reflection and transmission mode spectra of typical interferometers. Our analyses suggest a number of best practices for conducting SFA and open MBI in an SFA for increasingly complex systems, including metamaterials, multilayered anisotropic layers, and chiral layers.

4.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 9(3): 577-582, 2018 Feb 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29323500

RESUMO

Understanding of electrical double layers is essential to all electrochemical devices, particularly at high charge carrier concentrations. Using a combined approach (surface force apparatus, zeta potential, infrared spectroscopy), we propose a model for the interfacial structure of triglyme electrolytes on muscovite mica. In contact with the pure triglyme, a brush-like polymeric structure grows on the mica surface. When lithium triflate is present in the triglyme, this structure is suppressed by anion adsorption and an extended double layer is formed. A surprising result of great fundamental significance is that the effective screening length measured by surface force apparatus at considerable lithium triflate concentrations (above 0.2 M) is substantially higher than expected from the Debye-Hückel theory. This suggests a high degree of complex salt association as a novel characteristic feature of salt-containing electrolytes.

5.
Chemphyschem ; 18(21): 3056-3065, 2017 Nov 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28872763

RESUMO

The molecular structure at charged solid/liquid interfaces is vital for many chemical or electrochemical processes, such as adhesion, catalysis, or the stability of colloidal dispersions. How cations influence structural hydration forces and interactions across negatively charged surfaces has been studied in great detail. However, how anions influence structural hydration forces on positively charged surfaces is much less understood. Herein we report force versus distance profiles on freshly cleaved mica using atomic force microscopy with silicon tips. We characterize steric anion hydration forces for a set of common anions (Cl- , ClO4- , NO3- , SO42- and PO43- ) in pure acids at pH ≈1, where protons are the co-ions. Solutions containing anions with low hydration energies exhibit repulsive structural hydration forces, indicating significant ion and/or water structuring within the first 1-2 nm on a positively charged surface. We attribute this to specific adsorption effects within the Stern layer. In contrast, ions with high hydration energies show exponentially repulsive hydration forces, indicating a lower degree of structuring within the Stern layer. The presented data demonstrates that anion hydration forces in the inner double layer are comparable to cation hydration forces, and that they qualitatively correlate with hydration free energies. This work contributes to understanding interaction processes in which positive charge is screened by anions within an electrolyte.

6.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 9(33): 28027-28033, 2017 Aug 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28770981

RESUMO

We present a study focused on characterizing the interaction forces between mica surfaces across solutions containing star-shaped polymers with cationic ends. Using the surface forces apparatus, we show that the interaction forces in pure water between surfaces covered with the polymers can be adequately described by the dendronized brush model. In that framework, our experimental data suggest that the number of branches adsorbed at the surface decreases as the concentration of polymer in the adsorbing solution increases. The onset of interaction was also shown to increase with the concentration of polymer in solution up to distances much larger than the contour length of the polymer, suggesting that the nanostructure of the polymer film is significantly different from that of a monolayer. High compression of the polymer film adsorbed at low polymer concentration revealed the appearance of a highly structured hydration layer underneath the polymer layer. These results support that charged polymer chains do not necessarily come into close contact with the surface even if strong electrostatic interaction is present. Altogether, our results provide a comprehensive understanding of the interfacial behavior of star-shaped polymers and reveal the unexpected role of hydration water in the control of the polymer conformation.

7.
Nat Commun ; 7: 12693, 2016 08 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27562148

RESUMO

Interfaces are essential in electrochemical processes, providing a critical nanoscopic design feature for composite electrodes used in Li-ion batteries. Understanding the structure, wetting and mobility at nano-confined interfaces is important for improving the efficiency and lifetime of electrochemical devices. Here we use a Surface Forces Apparatus to quantify the initial wetting of nanometre-confined graphene, gold and mica surfaces by Li-ion battery electrolytes. Our results indicate preferential wetting of confined graphene in comparison with gold or mica surfaces because of specific interactions of the electrolyte with the graphene surface. In addition, wetting of a confined pore proceeds via a profoundly different mechanism compared with wetting of a macroscopic surface. We further reveal the existence of molecularly layered structures of the confined electrolyte. Nanoscopic confinement of less than 4-5 nm and the presence of water decrease the mobility of the electrolyte. These results suggest a lower limit for the pore diameter in nanostructured electrodes.

8.
J Nanosci Nanotechnol ; 12(12): 8940-8, 2012 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23447942

RESUMO

Solution synthesis of optoelectronic components has the advantages of processability, bandgap tuning, and large-scale manufacturing potential. The synthesis of monodispersed rhombs in solution, however, has rarely been reported, even though rhombs are promising for realizing unique optical functions in integrated optoelectronics. We present in this article our success in developing a facile chemical method that used two polyols to generate nearly monodispersed metal-organic rhombic platelets. The success lies on the careful selection of precursors of proper oxidation states and the optimization of both the thermodynamic and the kinetic conditions for synthesis. Cuprous acetate, which acted as a heterogeneous nucleation agent, was dispersed in ethylene glycol, which acted as a stabilizer, a ligand, and a monomer for the formation of polymeric glycolates. By adjusting the volume ratio of polyethylene glycol (PEG) to ethylene glycol and the polymer size of PEG, rhombic platelets of 200-580 nm in side length and 170-240 nm in thickness were synthesized with aid of suitable structure-directing and dispersing agents. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and FT-IR analyses revealed that the rhombic platelets were mainly composed of copper glycolate polymer chains. Knowledge obtained from this study can be expected to be applied to and to shed light on broad research topics concerning novel metal-organic nanostructure syntheses.

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