Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Licence To Go Where No Chemist Has Gone Before

Date:
September 29, 2009
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Scientists in the UK have overcome one of the significant research challenges facing electrochemists. For the first time they have found a way of probing right into the heart of an electrochemical reaction.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have overcome one of the significant research challenges facing electrochemists. For the first time they have found a way of probing right into the heart of an electrochemical reaction.

Their breakthrough will help scientists understand how catalysts work. If this is understood even better catalysts could be created.

Chemists and engineers, under the direction of Dr Pete Licence in the School of Chemistry, overcame significant challenges to be able to study the reaction at the point where the solution touches the surface of the metal electrode bringing in the electricity. They have done this by using spectroscopy under ultra high vacuum.

The research has been hailed as a major breakthrough by electrochemists and an important step forward in the development of new catalysts and sensors. The results will be published in the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) journal Chemical Communications and the article has also been featured in Highlights in Chemical Science, which showcases news from across RSC publishing.

Because catalysts — materials used to create a chemical reaction — are dissolved in a solution it is often very hard to understand why they work so well. Normally solutions evaporate almost instantaneously under high vacuum. The team overcame this obstacle by using one of the many room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) — so-called ‘designer solvents’ which do not evaporate under such conditions.

Dr Licence said: “It wasn’t easy and we had phenomenal problems. We could do the electrochemistry in the vacuum and we could measure the spectra of ionic liquids — but to do both at the same time has been a real uphill struggle — but now we have cracked it.”

With funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Leverhulme Trust, Dr Licence and his team have successfully managed to integrate electrochemistry with UHV spectroscopy to allow the in-situ characterisation of interesting metal based compounds whilst in solution. They believe that their technique will allow them to shed light on the design of new catalysts for energy generation and efficient chemical production using ionic liquid based approaches.

Dr Licence’s research, in the Nottingham Ionic Liquids Group, focuses on both the exploitation and manipulation of some of the unusual physical properties that are offered by alternative solvent systems, especially room temperature ionic liquids. His group is part of the University’s DICE project, http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/dice which brings chemists and engineers together to solve challenging scientific problems.

Dr Licence said: “The implementation of green chemistry and sustainability are key concepts that run throughout both my research and teaching interests. The development of environmentally benign materials and products via efficient, clean chemistry is my long-term goal. As a result of this research we can design more efficient catalysts, new probes, sensors, functionalised electrodes. We really want to push this technology to see how far we can take it.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Licence To Go Where No Chemist Has Gone Before." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928101331.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2009, September 29). Licence To Go Where No Chemist Has Gone Before. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928101331.htm
University of Nottingham. "Licence To Go Where No Chemist Has Gone Before." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928101331.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins