Scheme: University Research Fellowship
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Dates: Oct 2013-Sep 2018
Summary: In our daily life electrochemical processes play a crucial role and underpin many technologies such as corrosion inhibition, metal plating, energy supply and energy conversion. Electrochemistry deals with reactions that involve transfer of electrical charge at interfaces between an electrode and a chemical species in solution. The driving force for electrochemical reaction is provided by the polarisation of the interface through an applied voltage. This affects the interaction of the electrode substrate with the ion and the solvent. The interaction of the ions in solution with the solvent, the so-called solvation of the ion also plays an important role and the properties of ions in different solvents can drastically change with the chemical constitution of the solvent. In my research I look at electrochemical processes occurring in organic solvents and organic solvents-water mixtures. These solvents facilitate the application of a larger voltage window, thus allowing a wide range of chemical reactions at potentials which are not accessible in aqueous solution. I am interested in understanding how ions from the solution adsorb or deposit on the solid electrode and what role the solvent and other ions in solution play in this process. To obtain structural information on an atomic scale, I employ Synchrotron radiation which produces x-rays with a wavelength of the order of the size of an atom. Through recording the signal of after interaction of the x-rays with the interface I can gain detailed information of the atomic structure and how this is affected by the solvent and ions employed during the experiment, Electrodeposition from non-aqueous solvents is a promising approach for the design and production of new artificial interfaces. A better understanding of the processes at electrochemical interfaces and the ability to engineer the structure of deposits in a rational way will lead to new innovative applications.