Joaquin Rodriguez-Lopez, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present.
Gearing Up Electroanalysis for Addressing Interfacial Challenges in Energy Storage
Abstract: Elucidating interfacial reactivity is crucial for controlling the complex chemistries involved in energy storage. From understanding charge transfer across evolving interfaces in Li-ion batteries to deceivingly simpler electron transfer mechanisms at redox flow battery electrodes, it is clear that a new and modernized electroanalytical toolset capable of temporal, spatial, and chemical resolution is needed. Our group has pushed the boundaries of scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) to fulfil these needs. We have leveraged SECM as a versatile toolbox for: 1) spatially resolved measurements, using ultramicroelectrodes and nanoelectrodes to interrogate individual sites, single energy-storage nanoparticles, and to map reactions at multiple scales; 2) temporally resolving dynamics, using transients such as Surface-Interrogation SECM and steady-state measurements alike to access fast processes occurring at the interface, and; 3) chemical resolution, by virtue of creating or adapting probes to discern multifaceted redox processes at heterogeneous interphases, or to resolve the insertion of alkali ions using powerful liquid probes. Central to our strategy is the use of insightful substrate electrode design: by combining our approaches with atomically-thin electrodes (e.g. “interface electrodes”) and well-defined particles, we dramatically improve the reach of our techniques. For instance, in recent years we have developed Raman-SECM which create a comprehensive picture of how structural evolution of carbon electrodes impacts their ion and electron reactivity.
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