Discipline: Chemistry & Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
Zhe Wang - Xavier University of Louisiana
This project entails both theoretical and experimental studies aimed at investigating the structures of electrode/ionic liquid interfaces, effective selective adsorption on these interfaces, effects of adsorption on adsorbant bond strength, and understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved therein. This is a fundamental study with strong implications for any future projects involving miniaturized sensors, gas separation, or high-performance catalytic conversion utilizing ILs. This systematic research is being conducted using state-of-the-art electrochemical, spectroscopy, surface science, and computational chemistry methods. The main goals of this project are to achieve a greater fundamental understanding of small molecule adsorption at the interfaces and to explore new chemistry and physics on these interfaces. ILs generate a unique solid-like interface; consequently, they can generate extremely high electric fields and induce exceptionally large charge densities at the solid/liquid interface. The electric double layer (EDL) charge density can be much higher than traditional field-effects and allows for new levels of electrostatic modulation to be accessible. The pure ionic structure of IL itself also brings an electrostatic environment, which can potentially be manipulated for facilitating certain small molecule activation. However, electrified IL/electrode interfaces with adsorbed gas molecules have not been either theoretically or experimentally studied. Here the strong interaction granted by electrode with the tunability of IL interfaces is exploited in order to achieve and evaluate gas adsorption that is both sensitive and selective by systematically studying adsorption behavior in the IL environment.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): HBCU-UP RIA; HBCU-UP EIR
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,
NSF Affiliation: HBCU-UP