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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K002236/1
Title: Developing Electrochemical Structure-Function Relationships in Non-aqueous Electrolytes
Principal Investigator: Lucas, Professor CA
Other Investigators:
Hardwick, Professor L
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Argonne National Laboratory
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 01 July 2012 Ends: 31 December 2014 Value (£): 59,764
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electrochemical Science & Eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Discovering the fundamental principles that govern electrochemical reactivity is the key to the design of new materials for a range of scientific applications. Such information can only be obtained from model systems with well-defined elemental reaction sites using state-of-the-art instrumental probes. In this collaborative project we aim to extend the study of electrochemical reactions on model single crystal surfaces in non-aqueous electrolytes.

Electrochemistry underpins many current energy applications and plays a crucial role in the development of new energy storage technologies. Advances in all the fields involved in electrochemically based energy technologies will be facilitated by strong synergies between scientific understanding and technological innovation and development. Advances in modern electrochemical surface science offer strong perspectives towards achieving these aims and are central to this application. Indeed detailed in situ characterisation of complex, reactive interfaces is a key area where the tools of electrochemical surface science can meet the challenges of developing technologies. This is particularly true in the case of the lithium-oxygen battery. A greater fundamental understanding of the oxygen cathode interface with respect to the oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions is critical for significant advancement in this area.

Electrochemical processes occur at heterogeneous interfaces within a condensed matter environment and are thus more difficult to examine than gas-solid interfaces. Due to the buried nature of the interface, it is inaccessible to most standard surface science techniques that employ strongly adsorbed electron probes to gain surface sensitivity. Study of the interface is restricted to techniques that employ penetrating radiation, such as x-ray and neutron scattering and optical spectroscopy, or imaging techniques, where the probe is brought in close proximity to the solid surface. Development of these relatively new techniques is providing the main methodological driving force for new investigations of the solid/liquid interface. This has been paralleled by the advancements made in synchrotron radiation, where a third generation of light sources is currently operational around the world. This proposal aims to strengthen the collaboration between scientists at the University of Liverpool and Argonne National Laboratory in the study of this complex interface. The collaboration will involve the sharing of equipment, materials and expertise and the training of PhD students in the use of state-of-the-art experimental equipment. It will also involve the use and development of synchrotron radiation techniques for probing the atomic structure at the interface between a solid electrode and a non-aqueous electrolyte.

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Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk