Matching Items (33)

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Synthesis and Electrochemical Characterization of Silicon Clathrates for Use in Lithium-Ion Battery Anodes

Description

Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most widely used energy storage solutions today. As renewable energy sources proliferate to meet growth in worldwide energy consumption, it is important that lithium-ion

Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most widely used energy storage solutions today. As renewable energy sources proliferate to meet growth in worldwide energy consumption, it is important that lithium-ion batteries be improved to help capture this energy for use when the demand arises. One way to boost the performance of lithium-ion batteries is to replace the electrode active materials with materials of higher specific capacity. Silicon is one material that has been widely touted as a potential replacement for the graphite used in commercial anodes with a theoretical capacity of 3500 mAh/g as opposed to graphite's 372 mAh/g. However, bulk silicon is known to pulverize after experiencing large strains during lithiation. Here, silicon clathrates are investigated as a potential structure for accommodation of these strains. Silicon clathrates consist of covalently bonded silicon host cages surrounding a guest alkali or alkaline earth metal ion. Previous work has looked at silicon clathrates for their superconducting and thermoelectric properties. In this study, electrochemical properties of type I and II silicon clathrates with sodium guest ions (NaxSi46 and NaxSi136) and type I silicon clathrates with copper framework substitution and barium guest ions (Ba8CuxSi46-x) are examined. Sodium clathrates showed very high capacities during initial lithiation (>2500 mAh/g), but rapidly lost capacity thereafter. X-ray diffraction after lithiation showed conversion of the clathrate phase to lithium silicide and then to amorphous silicon after delithiation, indicating destruction of the clathrate structure as a possible explanation for the rapid capacity fade. Ba8CuxSi46-x clathrates were found to have their structures completely intact after 50 cycles. However, they had very low reversible capacities (<100 mAh/g) and potentially might not be electrochemically active. Further work is needed to better understand exactly how lithium is inserted into clathrates and if copper impurities detected during wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy could be inhibiting lithium transport into the clathrates.

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  • 2014-05

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Investigation of Amorphous Photocatalysts for Applications in Solar Water Splitting

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The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the properties of amorphous and crystalline NaTaO3 to determine what makes amorphous NaTaO3 a suitable photocatalyst for water splitting applications. Amorphous and

The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the properties of amorphous and crystalline NaTaO3 to determine what makes amorphous NaTaO3 a suitable photocatalyst for water splitting applications. Amorphous and nanocrystalline NaTaO3 were synthesized and characterized using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Raman Spectroscopy, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR). The photocatalytic activity of the materials was analyzed using methylene blue degradation as an indicator of photocatalytic activity. The amorphous material showed significant photocatalytic activity in methylene blue degradation experiments, removing 100% of a 0.1 mmol methylene blue solution in 20 minutes, compared to the monoclinic crystalline NaTaO3, which showed negligible photocatalytic activity. Additional electrochemical characterization studies were carried out with methyl viologen (MV2+) to determine the band structure of the materials. Performing these synthesis and characterization has provided insight into further investigation of amorphous NaTaO3 and what makes the material an effective and inexpensive photocatalyst.

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  • 2014-05

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Development of a Measurement System for Thin Film Electrical Properties

Description

With the world's ever growing need for sustainable energy solutions, the field of thermoelectrics has seen rejuvenated interest. Specifically, modern advances in nanoscale technology have resulted in predictions that thermoelectric

With the world's ever growing need for sustainable energy solutions, the field of thermoelectrics has seen rejuvenated interest. Specifically, modern advances in nanoscale technology have resulted in predictions that thermoelectric devices will soon become a viable waste heat recovery energy source, among other things. In order to achieve these predictions, however, key structure-property relationships must first be understood. Currently, the Thermal Energy and Nanomaterials Lab at Arizona State University is attempting to solve this problem. This project intends to aid the groups big picture goal by developing a robust and user friendly measurement platform which is capable of reporting charge carrier mobility, electrical conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient values. To date, the charge carrier mobility and electrical conductivity measurements have been successfully implemented and validated. First round analysis has been performed on β-In2Se3 thin film samples. Future work will feature a more comprehensive analysis of this material.

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  • 2014-05

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Densification of Li7La3Zr2O12 Electrospun Nanowires Through Processing Control of Intermediate La2Zr2O7 Phase (Electrospinning Synthesis of Electrolytes for Solid-state Lithium-ion Batteries)

Description

Solid-state lithium-ion batteries are a major area of research due to their increased safety characteristics over conventional liquid electrolyte batteries. Lithium lanthanum zirconate (LLZO) is a promising garnet-type ceramic for

Solid-state lithium-ion batteries are a major area of research due to their increased safety characteristics over conventional liquid electrolyte batteries. Lithium lanthanum zirconate (LLZO) is a promising garnet-type ceramic for use as a solid-state electrolyte due to its high ionic conductivity. The material exists in two dierent phases, one that is cubic in structure and one that is tetragonal. One potential synthesis method that results in LLZO in the more useful, cubic phase, is electrospinning, where a mat of nanowires is spun and then calcined into LLZO. A phase containing lanthanum zirconate (LZO) and amorphous lithium occursas an intermediate during the calcination process. LZO has been shown to be a sintering aid for LLZO, allowing for lower sintering temperatures. Here it is shown the eects of internal LZO on the sintered pellets. This is done by varying the 700C calcination time to transform diering amounts of LZO and LLZO in electrospun nanowires, and then using the same sintering parameters for each sample. X-ray diraction was used to get structural and compositional analysis of both the calcined powders and sintered pellets. Pellets formed from wires calcined at 1 hour or longer contained only LLZO even if the calcined powder had only undergone the rst phase transformation. The relative density of the pellet with no initial LLZO of 61.0% was higher than that of the pellet with no LZO, which had a relative density of 57.7%. This allows for the same, or slightly higher, quality material to be synthesized with a shorter amount of processing time.

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  • 2017-05

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Ionic Liquid Corrosion of Magnesium-Aluminum Alloys

Description

In 2015, the United States consumed about 140.43 billion gallons of gasoline, resulting in the emission of over 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the U.S. Energy

In 2015, the United States consumed about 140.43 billion gallons of gasoline, resulting in the emission of over 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Despite continued efforts to develop more efficient engines and cleaner fuels, a major barrier to reducing energy consumption and CO2 production is the mass of the vehicle. Replacing traditional automotive materials such as iron and steel with lighter-weight materials is a big step toward improving fuel economy. Magnesium has great potential for use in the automotive industry because of its low density, about 78% less than the density of steel, and high strength-to-weight ratio. Using cast magnesium instead of steel can reduce the overall weight of a vehicle, improving performance and increasing fuel efficiency. However, magnesium’s high susceptibility to corrosion limits its feasibility as a substitute for traditional materials.

This project aimed to understand the effects of composition and phase distribution on the corrosion behavior of magnesium-aluminum (Mg-Al) alloys in an ionic liquid electrolyte. The purpose of studying corrosion in nonaqueous ILs is to determine the anodic dissolution behaviors of the alloy phases without the interference of side reactions that occur in aqueous electrolytes, such as di-oxygen or water reduction. Three commercial Mg-Al alloys were studied: AZ91D (9% Al), AM60 (6% Al), and AZ31B (3% Al). An annealed alloy containing solid-solution α-phase Mg-Al with 5 at% aluminum content (Mg5Al) was also used. The ionic liquid chosen for this project was 1:2 molar ratio choline-chloride:urea (cc-urea), a deep eutectic solvent. After potentiostatic corrosion in cc-urea, the magnesium alloys were found to form a high surface area porous morphology as corrosion duration increased. This morphology consists of aluminum-rich ridges formed by Al nanowires surrounding an aluminum-poor base area, but with an overall increase in surface Al composition, indicating selective dealloying of the Mg in cc-urea and redistribution of the Al on the surface. Further work will focus on the development of hydrophobic coatings using ionic liquids.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Carbon Nanosphere Adsorbents for Removal of Arsenate and Selenate From Water

Description

Porous carbon nanospheres prepared using spray pyrolysis were evaluated as adsorbents for removal of arsenate and selenate in de-ionized (DI), canal, and well waters. The carbon nanospheres displayed good binding

Porous carbon nanospheres prepared using spray pyrolysis were evaluated as adsorbents for removal of arsenate and selenate in de-ionized (DI), canal, and well waters. The carbon nanospheres displayed good binding to both metals in DI water and outperformed commercial activated carbons for arsenate removal in pH > 8, likely due to the presence of basic surface functional groups, high surface-to-volume ratio, and suitable micropores formed during the synthesis.

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  • 2015-03-14

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Selenium Removal with Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment Using Conductive Copolymer Sorbents

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Heavy metals such as selenium can be especially important to limit because they can cause serious health problems even at relatively low concentrations. In an effort to selectively remove selenium

Heavy metals such as selenium can be especially important to limit because they can cause serious health problems even at relatively low concentrations. In an effort to selectively remove selenium from solution, a PAABA (poly(aniline-co-p-aminobenzoic acid) conductive copolymer was synthesized in a selenic acid solution, and its ability to remove selenium was studied. Analysis of the Raman spectra confirmed the hypothesized formation of PAABA polymer. Constant voltage cycles showed success in precipitating the selenium out of solution via electroreduction, and ICP-MS confirmed the reduction of selenium concentrated in solution. These results indicate the PAABA synthesized in selenic acid shows promise for selective water treatment.

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  • 2020-05

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Electronic excitations in topological insulators studied by Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy

Description

Topological insulators with conducting surface states yet insulating bulk states have generated a lot of interest amongst the physics community due to their varied characteristics and possible applications. Doped topological

Topological insulators with conducting surface states yet insulating bulk states have generated a lot of interest amongst the physics community due to their varied characteristics and possible applications. Doped topological insulators have presented newer physical states of matter where topological order co&ndashexists; with other physical properties (like magnetic order). The electronic states of these materials are very intriguing and pose problems and the possible solutions to understanding their unique behaviors. In this work, we use Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) – an analytical TEM tool to study both core&ndashlevel; and valence&ndashlevel; excitations in Bi2Se3 and Cu(doped)Bi2Se3 topological insulators. We use this technique to retrieve information on the valence, bonding nature, co-ordination and lattice site occupancy of the undoped and the doped systems. Using the reference materials Cu(I)Se and Cu(II)Se we try to compare and understand the nature of doping that copper assumes in the lattice. And lastly we utilize the state of the art monochromated Nion UltraSTEM 100 to study electronic/vibrational excitations at a record energy resolution from sub-nm regions in the sample.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Hexavalent chromium removal using ultraviolet photocatalytic reactor

Description

Hexavalant chromium (Cr(VI)) poses an emerging concern in drinking water treatment with stricter regulations on the horizon. Photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) was investigated as an engineering scale option to remove

Hexavalant chromium (Cr(VI)) poses an emerging concern in drinking water treatment with stricter regulations on the horizon. Photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) was investigated as an engineering scale option to remove hexavalent chromium from drinking or industrial waters via a UV/titanium dioxide (TiO2) process. Using an integrated UV lamp/ceramic membrane system to recirculate TiO2, both hexavalent and total chromium levels were reduced through photocatalytic processes without additional chemicals. Cr(VI) removal increased as a function of higher energy input and TiO2 dosage, achieving above 90% removal for a 1g/L dose of TiO2. Surface analysis of effluent TiO2 confirmed the presence of chromium species.

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  • 2013

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Morphology evolution in dealloying

Description

Dealloying, the selective dissolution of an elemental component from an alloy, is an important corrosion mechanism and a technological significant means to fabricate nanoporous structures for a variety of applications.

Dealloying, the selective dissolution of an elemental component from an alloy, is an important corrosion mechanism and a technological significant means to fabricate nanoporous structures for a variety of applications. In noble metal alloys, dealloying proceeds above a composition dependent critical potential, and bi-continuous structure evolves "simultaneously" as a result of the interplay between percolation dissolution and surface diffusion. In contrast, dealloying in alloys that show considerable solid-state mass transport at ambient temperature is largely unexplored despite its relevance to nanoparticle catalysts and Li-ion anodes. In my dissertation, I discuss the behaviors of two alloy systems in order to elucidate the role of bulk lattice diffusion in dealloying. First, Mg-Cd alloys are chosen to show that when the dealloying is controlled by bulk diffusion, a new type of porosity - negative void dendrites will form, and the process mirrors electrodeposition. Then, Li-Sn alloys are studied with respect to the composition, particle size and dealloying rate effects on the morphology evolution. Under the right condition, dealloying of Li-Sn supported by percolation dissolution results in the same bi-continuous structure as nanoporous noble metals; whereas lattice diffusion through the otherwise "passivated" surface allows for dealloying with no porosity evolution. The interactions between bulk diffusion, surface diffusion and dissolution are revealed by chronopotentiometry and linear sweep voltammetry technics. The better understanding of dealloying from these experiments enables me to construct a brief review summarizing the electrochemistry and morphology aspects of dealloying as well as offering interpretations to new observations such as critical size effect and encased voids in nanoporous gold. At the end of the dissertation, I will describe a preliminary attempt to generalize the morphology evolution "rules of dealloying" to all solid-to-solid interfacial controlled phase transition process, demonstrating that bi-continuous morphologies can evolve regardless of the nature of parent phase.

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Date Created
  • 2013