The Project Grant for Junior Researchers will be used to pursue a research program on the development of ionic-liquid derived materials for Fuel Cells. These materials are based on the nano-confinement of ionic liquids into silica and are also known as ionogels. Because ionic liquids are non-volatile and silica can retain a huge volume fraction of liquid, ionogels can exhibit high conductivities at temperatures considerably higher than for conventional proton exchange membranes (PEMs), like Nafion. This is a relevant property since a requirement has been set for PEMs to operate above 120 °C with the aim to facilitate the implementation of the Fuel Cell technology into the transport sector (see footnote 1 in App. A). The development of better performing ionogels, however, requires a deeper understanding of the relation between local structure and proton dynamic. To achieve this understanding on a molecular level, I will use a unique combination of advanced spectroscopic techniques like Raman and infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), which allow to access the ìm-to-nm length scale. My goal is to succeed with the design of a material where the local structure at the silica/ionic-liquid interface is controlled and such that fast proton transfer is significantly enhanced. To this end I will follow a research plan that will lead me to the ultimate ionogel, prepared from an imidazole-added protic ionic liquid.
Docent vid Chalmers University of Technology, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Applied Surface Chemistry
Funding Chalmers participation during 2013–2016 with 3,400,000.00 SEK
Funding Chalmers participation during 2013–2014 with 200,000.00 SEK