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1.
J Am Chem Soc ; 2020 Jan 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31955580

RESUMO

Rapid improvements in polymer-electrolyte fuel-cell (PEFC) performance have been driven by the development of commercially available ion-conducting polymers (ionomers) that are employed as membranes and catalyst binders in membrane-electrode assemblies. Commercially available ionomers are based on a perfluorinated chemistry comprised of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) matrix that imparts low gas permeability and high mechanical strength but introduces significant mass-transport losses in the electrodes. These transport losses currently limit PEFC performance, especially for low Pt loadings. In this study, we present a novel ionomer incorporating a glassy amorphous matrix based on a perfluoro(2-methylene-4-methyl-1,3-dioxolane) (PFMMD) backbone. The novel backbone chemistry induces structural changes in the ionomer, restricting ionomer domain swelling under hydration while disrupting matrix crystallinity. These structural changes slightly reduce proton conductivity while significantly improving gas permeability. The performance implications of this trade-off are assessed, which reveal the potential for substantial performance improvement by incorporation of highly permeable ionomers as the functional catalyst binder. These results underscore the significance of tailoring material chemistry to specific device requirements, where ionomer chemistry should be rationally designed to match the local transport requirements of the device architecture.

2.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 11(50): 46953-46964, 2019 Dec 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31742376

RESUMO

In situ electrochemical diagnostics designed to probe ionomer interactions with platinum and carbon were applied to relate ionomer coverage and conformation, gleaned from anion adsorption data, with O2 transport resistance for low-loaded (0.05 mgPt cm-2) platinum-supported Vulcan carbon (Pt/Vu)-based electrodes in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell. Coupling the in situ diagnostic data with ex situ characterization of catalyst inks and electrode structures, the effect of ink composition is explained by both ink-level interactions that dictate the electrode microstructure during fabrication and the resulting local ionomer distribution near catalyst sites. Electrochemical techniques (CO displacement and ac impedance) show that catalyst inks with higher water content increase ionomer (sulfonate) interactions with Pt sites without significantly affecting ionomer coverage on the carbon support. Surprisingly, the higher anion adsorption is shown to have a minor impact on specific activity, while exhibiting a complex relationship with oxygen transport. Ex situ characterization of ionomer suspensions and catalyst/ionomer inks indicates that the lower ionomer coverage can be correlated with the formation of large ionomer aggregates and weaker ionomer/catalyst interactions in low-water content inks. These larger ionomer aggregates resulted in increased local oxygen transport resistance, namely, through the ionomer film, and reduced performance at high current density. In the water-rich inks, the ionomer aggregate size decreases, while stronger ionomer/Pt interactions are observed. The reduced ionomer aggregation improves transport resistance through the ionomer film, while the increased adsorption leads to the emergence of resistance at the ionomer/Pt interface. Overall, the high current density performance is shown to be a nonmonotonic function of ink water content, scaling with the local gas (H2, O2) transport resistance resulting from pore, thin film, and interfacial phenomena.

3.
Langmuir ; 34(39): 11738-11748, 2018 10 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30153023

RESUMO

Building on the recent demonstration of aqueous-dispersible hydrophobic pigments that retain their surface hydrophobicity even after drying, we demonstrate the synthesis of surface-modified Ti-Pure R-706 (denoted R706) titanium dioxide-based pigments, consisting of a thin (one to three monolayers) grafted polymethylhydrosiloxane (PMHS) coating, which (i) are hydrophobic in the dry state according to capillary rise and dynamic vapor sorption measurements and (ii) form stable aqueous dispersions at solid contents exceeding 75 wt % (43 vol %), without added dispersant, displaying similar rheology to R706 native oxide pigments at 70 wt % (37 vol %) consisting of an optimal amount of conventional polyanionic dispersant (0.3 wt % on pigment basis). The surface-modified pigments have been characterized via 29Si and 13C cross-polarization/magic angle spinning solid-state NMR spectroscopy; infrared spectroscopy; thermogravimetric and elemental analyses; and ζ potential measurements. On the basis of these data, the stability of the surface-modified PMHS-R706 aqueous dispersions is attributed to steric effects, as a result of grafted PMHS strands on the R706 surface, and depends on the chaotropic nature of the base used during PMHS condensation to the pigment/polysiloxane interface. The lack of water wettability of the surface-modified oxide particles in their dry state translates to improved water-barrier properties in coatings produced with these surface-modified pigment particles. The synthetic approach appears general as demonstrated by its application to various inorganic-oxide pigment particles.

4.
J Phys Chem B ; 122(31): 7790-7796, 2018 08 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30016864

RESUMO

Perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) dispersions are used as components in a variety of electrochemical technologies, particularly in fuel-cell catalyst-layer inks. In this study, we characterize dispersions of a common PFSA, Nafion, as well as inks of Nafion and carbon. It is shown that solvent choice affects a dispersion's measured pH, which is found to scale linearly with Nafion loading. Dispersions in water-rich solvents are more acidic than those in propanol-rich solvents: a 90% water versus 30% water dispersion can have up to a 55% measured proton deviation. Furthermore, because electrostatic interactions are a function of pH, these differences affect how particles aggregate in solution. Despite having different water contents, all inks studied demonstrate the same particle size and surface charge trends as a function of pH, thus providing insights into the relative influence of solvent and pH effects on these properties.

5.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 20(25): 16973-16984, 2018 Jun 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29900441

RESUMO

CO2 reduction conducted in electrochemical cells with planar electrodes immersed in an aqueous electrolyte is severely limited by mass transport across the hydrodynamic boundary layer. This limitation can be minimized by use of vapor-fed, gas-diffusion electrodes (GDEs), enabling current densities that are almost two orders of magnitude greater at the same applied cathode overpotential than what is achievable with planar electrodes in an aqueous electrolyte. The addition of porous cathode layers, however, introduces a number of parameters that need to be tuned in order to optimize the performance of the GDE cell. In this work, we develop a multiphysics model for gas diffusion electrodes for CO2 reduction and used it to investigate the interplay between species transport and electrochemical reaction kinetics. The model demonstrates how the local environment near the catalyst layer, which is a function of the operating conditions, affects cell performance. We also examine the effects of catalyst layer hydrophobicity, loading, porosity, and electrolyte flowrate to help guide experimental design of vapor-fed CO2 reduction cells.

6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 114(42): E8812-E8821, 2017 10 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28973926

RESUMO

Electrochemical reduction of CO2 using renewable sources of electrical energy holds promise for converting CO2 to fuels and chemicals. Since this process is complex and involves a large number of species and physical phenomena, a comprehensive understanding of the factors controlling product distribution is required. While the most plausible reaction pathway is usually identified from quantum-chemical calculation of the lowest free-energy pathway, this approach can be misleading when coverages of adsorbed species determined for alternative mechanism differ significantly, since elementary reaction rates depend on the product of the rate coefficient and the coverage of species involved in the reaction. Moreover, cathode polarization can influence the kinetics of CO2 reduction. Here, we present a multiscale framework for ab initio simulation of the electrochemical reduction of CO2 over an Ag(110) surface. A continuum model for species transport is combined with a microkinetic model for the cathode reaction dynamics. Free energies of activation for all elementary reactions are determined from density functional theory calculations. Using this approach, three alternative mechanisms for CO2 reduction were examined. The rate-limiting step in each mechanism is **COOH formation at higher negative potentials. However, only via the multiscale simulation was it possible to identify the mechanism that leads to a dependence of the rate of CO formation on the partial pressure of CO2 that is consistent with experiments. Simulations based on this mechanism also describe the dependence of the H2 and CO current densities on cathode voltage that are in strikingly good agreement with experimental observation.

7.
Chem Rev ; 117(3): 987-1104, 2017 Feb 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28112903

RESUMO

In this comprehensive review, recent progress and developments on perfluorinated sulfonic-acid (PFSA) membranes have been summarized on many key topics. Although quite well investigated for decades, PFSA ionomers' complex behavior, along with their key role in many emerging technologies, have presented significant scientific challenges but also helped create a unique cross-disciplinary research field to overcome such challenges. Research and progress on PFSAs, especially when considered with their applications, are at the forefront of bridging electrochemistry and polymer (physics), which have also opened up development of state-of-the-art in situ characterization techniques as well as multiphysics computation models. Topics reviewed stem from correlating the various physical (e.g., mechanical) and transport properties with morphology and structure across time and length scales. In addition, topics of recent interest such as structure/transport correlations and modeling, composite PFSA membranes, degradation phenomena, and PFSA thin films are presented. Throughout, the impact of PFSA chemistry and side-chain is also discussed to present a broader perspective.

8.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 55(42): 12974-12988, 2016 10 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27460923

RESUMO

An integrated cell for the solar-driven splitting of water consists of multiple functional components and couples various photoelectrochemical (PEC) processes at different length and time scales. The overall solar-to-hydrogen (STH) conversion efficiency of such a system depends on the performance and materials properties of the individual components as well as on the component integration, overall device architecture, and system operating conditions. This Review focuses on the modeling- and simulation-guided development and implementation of solar-driven water-splitting prototypes from a holistic viewpoint that explores the various interplays between the components. The underlying physics and interactions at the cell level is are reviewed and discussed, followed by an overview of the use of the cell model to provide target properties of materials and guide the design of a range of traditional and unique device architectures.

9.
Langmuir ; 32(8): 1929-38, 2016 Mar 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26788961

RESUMO

Polyanion dispersants stabilize aqueous dispersions of hydrophilic (native) inorganic oxide particles, including pigments currently used in paints, which are used at an annual scale of 3 million metric tons. While obtaining stable aqueous dispersions of hydrophobically modified particles has been desired for the promise of improved film performance and water barrier properties, it has until now required either prohibitively complex polyanions, which represent a departure from conventional dispersants, or multistep syntheses based on hybrid-material constructs. Here, we demonstrate the aqueous dispersion of alkylsilane-capped inorganic oxide pigments with conventional polycarboxylate dispersants, such as carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and polyacrylate, as well as a commercial anionic copolymer. Contact-angle measurements demonstrate that the hydrophobically modified pigments retain significant hydrophobic character even after adsorbing polyanion dispersants. CMC adsorption isotherms demonstrate 92% greater polyanion loading on trimethylsilyl modified hydrophobic particles relative to native oxide at pH 8. However, consistent with prior literature, hydrophobically modified silica particles adsorb polyanions very weakly under these conditions. These data suggest that Lewis acidic heteroatoms such as Al(3+) sites on the pigment surface are necessary for polyanion adsorption. The adsorbed polyanions increase the dispersion stability and zeta potential of the particles. Based on particle sedimentation under centrifugal force, the hydrophobically modified pigments possess greater dispersion stability with polyanions than the corresponding native hydroxylated particles. The polyanions also assist in the aqueous wetting of the hydrophobic particles, facilitating the transition from a dry powder into an aqueous dispersion of primary particles using less agitation than the native hydroxylated pigment. The application of aqueous dispersions of hydrophobically modified oxide particles to waterborne coatings leads to films that display lower water uptake at high relative humidities and greater hydrophilic stain resistances. This improved film performance with hydrophobically modified pigments is the result of better association between latex polymer and pigment in the dry film.

10.
ChemSusChem ; 8(23): 3996-4004, 2015 Dec 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26586284

RESUMO

An all-iron redox flow battery is proposed and developed for end users without access to an electricity grid. The concept is a low-cost battery which the user assembles, discharges, and then disposes of the active materials. The design goals are: (1) minimize upfront cost, (2) maximize discharge energy, and (3) utilize non-toxic and environmentally benign materials. These are different goals than typically considered for electrochemical battery technology, which provides the opportunity for a novel solution. The selected materials are: low-carbon-steel negative electrode, paper separator, porous-carbon-paper positive electrode, and electrolyte solution containing 0.5 m Fe2 (SO4 )3 active material and 1.2 m NaCl supporting electrolyte. With these materials, an average power density around 20 mW cm(-2) and a maximum energy density of 11.5 Wh L(-1) are achieved. A simple cost model indicates the consumable materials cost US$6.45 per kWh(-1) , or only US$0.034 per mobile phone charge.


Assuntos
Fontes de Energia Elétrica , Ferro/química , Carbono/química , Eletroquímica , Eletrodos , Oxirredução , Porosidade
11.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 6(22): 4547-52, 2015 Nov 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26510390

RESUMO

Mechanical and electrochemical phenomena exhibit many interesting multidirectional couplings in ion-exchange soft matter due to their intrinsic material physiochemical states and responses to environmental stressors. In this Perspective, such coupling is explored in terms of recent studies with a focus on the degradation of polymer-electrolyte fuel-cell membranes. In addition, (electro)chemical-mechanical coupling of ion-conducting polymers in other applications is also introduced, as there is a research need to explore the interactions between these often wrongly assumed disparate fields in order to optimize, exploit, and discover new technologies and applications.

12.
Nano Lett ; 14(5): 2299-304, 2014 May 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24773397

RESUMO

Ion-conductive polymers, or ionomers, are critical materials for a wide range of electrochemical technologies. For optimizing the complex heterogeneous structures in which they occur, there is a need to elucidate the governing structure-property relationships, especially at nanoscale dimensions where interfacial interactions dominate the overall materials response due to confinement effects. It is widely acknowledged that polymer physical behavior can be drastically altered from the bulk when under confinement and the literature is replete with examples thereof. However, there is a deficit in the understanding of ionomers when confined to the nanoscale, although it is apparent from literature that confinement can influence ionomer properties. Herein we show that as one particular ionomer, Nafion, is confined to thin films, there is a drastic increase in the modulus over the bulk value, and we demonstrate that this stiffening can explain previously observed deviations in materials properties such as water transport and uptake upon confinement. Moreover, we provide insight into the underlying confinement-induced stiffening through the application of a simple theoretical framework based on self-consistent micromechanics. This framework can be applied to other polymer systems and assumes that as the polymer is confined the mechanical response becomes dominated by the modulus of individual polymer chains.

13.
J Am Chem Soc ; 135(32): 12048-56, 2013 Aug 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23855781

RESUMO

The dilemma of employing high-capacity battery materials and maintaining the electronic and mechanical integrity of electrodes demands novel designs of binder systems. Here, we developed a binder polymer with multifunctionality to maintain high electronic conductivity, mechanical adhesion, ductility, and electrolyte uptake. These critical properties are achieved by designing polymers with proper functional groups. Through synthesis, spectroscopy, and simulation, electronic conductivity is optimized by tailoring the key electronic state, which is not disturbed by further modifications of side chains. This fundamental allows separated optimization of the mechanical and swelling properties without detrimental effect on electronic property. Remaining electronically conductive, the enhanced polarity of the polymer greatly improves the adhesion, ductility, and more importantly, the electrolyte uptake to the levels of those available only in nonconductive binders before. We also demonstrate directly the performance of the developed conductive binder by achieving full-capacity cycling of silicon particles without using any conductive additive.

14.
J Phys Chem B ; 115(40): 11650-7, 2011 Oct 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21895021

RESUMO

The objective of this effort was to correlate the local surface ionic conductance of a Nafion 212 proton-exchange membrane with its bulk and interfacial transport properties as a function of water content. Both macroscopic and microscopic proton conductivities were investigated at different relative humidity levels, using direct-current voltammetry and current-sensing atomic force microscopy (CSAFM). We were able to identify small ion-conducting domains that grew with humidity at the surface of the membrane. Numerical analysis of the surface ionic conductance images recorded at various relative humidity levels helped determine the fractional area of ion-conducting active sites. A simple square-root relationship between the fractional conducting area and observed interfacial mass-transport resistance was established. Furthermore, the relationship between the bulk ionic conductivity and surface ionic conductance pattern of the Nafion membrane was examined.

15.
Nano Lett ; 7(11): 3547-52, 2007 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17960948

RESUMO

We establish a new systematic methodology for controlling the water retention of polymer electrolyte membranes. Block copolymer membranes comprising hydrophilic phases with widths ranging from 2 to 5 nm become wetter as the temperature of the surrounding air is increased at constant relative humidity. The widths of the moist hydrophilic phases were measured by cryogenic electron microscopy experiments performed on humid membranes. Simple calculations suggest that capillary condensation is important at these length scales. The correlation between moisture content and proton conductivity of the membranes is demonstrated.


Assuntos
Capilares/metabolismo , Eletrólitos , Nanotecnologia/métodos , Polímeros/química , Ar , Análise de Fourier , Umidade , Microscopia Eletrônica , Microscopia Eletrônica de Transmissão , Modelos Estatísticos , Peso Molecular , Prótons , Temperatura Ambiente , Água/química
16.
Chem Rev ; 104(10): 4679-726, 2004 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-15669166

RESUMO

In this review, we have examined the different models for polymer-electrolyte fuel cells operating with hydrogen. The major focus has been on transport of the various species within the fuel cell. The different regions of the fuel cell were examined, and their modeling methodologies and equations were elucidated. In particular, the 1-D fuel-cell sandwich was discussed thoroughly because it is the most important part of the fuel-cell assembly. Models that included other effects such as temperature gradients and transport in other directions besides through the fuel-cell sandwich were also discussed. Models were not directly compared to each other; instead they were broken down into their constitutive parts. The reason for this is that validation of the models is usually accomplished by comparison of simulation to experimental polarization data (e.g., Figure 3). However, other data can also be used such as the net flux of water through the membrane. In fitting these data, the models vary not only in their complexity and treatments but also in their number and kind of fitting parameters. This is one reason it is hard to justify one approach over another by just looking at the modeling results. In general, it seems reasonable that the more complex models, which are based on physical arguments and do not contain many fitting parameters, are perhaps closest to reality. Of course, this assumes that they fit the experimental data and observations. This last point has been overlooked in the validation of many models. For example, a model may fit the data very well for certain operating conditions, but if it does not at least predict the correct trend when one of those conditions is changed, then the model is shown to be valid only within a certain operating range. This review has highlighted the important effects that should be modeled. These include two-phase flow of liquid water and gas in the fuel-cell sandwich, a robust membrane model that accounts for the different membrane transport modes, nonisothermal effects, especially in the directions perpendicular to the sandwich, and multidimensional effects such as changing gas composition along the channel, among others. For any model, a balance must be struck between the complexity required to describe the physical reality and the additional costs of such complexity. In other words, while more complex models more accurately describe the physics of the transport processes, they are more computationally costly and may have so many unknown parameters that their results are not as meaningful. Hopefully, this review has shown and broken down for the reader the vast complexities of transport within polymer-electrolyte fuel cells and the various ways they have been and can be modeled.

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