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Quantum Cascade Laser for Characterizing Microstructures at Ionic Liquid/Electrode Interfaces

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Technical Report,10 Jul 2015,09 Jul 2016

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Bradley University Peoria United States

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Major Goals The major goal for this project was to develop instrumentation for advanced infrared spectroscopy experiments and techniques that characterize electrochemical interfaces in applied systems. In particular, this allows our group to probe and better understand microstructure of ionic liquid IL electrolyte solutions near electrode surfaces. Integration of a quantum cascade laser-based spectrometer for surface enhanced infrared absorption SEIRA spectrometry enables the characterization of the structure and dynamics of the electric double layer EDL in unique ways. Our group is particularly interested in IL systems which exhibit hysteresis at interfaces during, for example, cyclic voltammetry. That is, systems for which interfacial structure is dependent on past events such as previous voltammetric experiments. The instrumentation described in this report is designed specifically to be able to perform comparative studies within a single electrochemical cell setup to monitor hysteresis in ILs systems. Accomplishments A quantum cascade laser-based spectrometer has been designed, procured, and assembled. The instrument is extremely flexible and enables a wide variety of experiments to be accomplished. A full report has been uploaded. Training Opportunities Six students have participated in the design and assembly of the instrumentation andor have utilized instrumentation for projects. One graduate Masters student has graduated and has written a chapter of his thesis detainling spectroscopic studies of electrochemical systems. Of course, mentorship of students is a strong outcome of these types of projects. Five of six students who have participated in some way on this project have graduated with STEM degrees. The sixth student is on track to graduate with a STEM degree.

Subject Categories:

  • Lasers and Masers

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