By applying to this grant I aim to consolidate my independency as a young researcher in the research area structure and dynamics in novel ionic liquid-based electrolytes by advanced spectroscopic methods. Even though ionic liquids have attracted considerable attention as potential materials for use as electrolytes, for real applications the entrapment into solid matrices is inevitable. One possible approach is the swelling of a polymer membrane like Nafion, whereas a much more elegant way is to nano-confine ionic liquids into 3D solid matrices grown from precursor silica particles. The latter are also known as ionogels. I aim to better understand these materials in order to further improve their functionality, using spectroscopic methods yet not so extensively used in the field. These include NMR, x-ray diffraction, neutron scattering and in situ micro-Raman. Issues of both fundamental and applied importance will be addressed, like the proton transport mechanism, the generality of nano-segregation, the effects of physical confinement, the molecular functionalization of precursor silica particles, and the development of in situ investigation methods. Since I have already a financial support to employ a PhD student from the Energy Area of Advance at Chalmers, the grant will mainly be used to purchase a micro-Raman spectrometer and recruit a postdoctoral fellow. This will enable me to strengthen my independency and give a unique profile to my growing research group.
Docent at Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Surface Chemistry
Funding years 2012–2015