Events Calendar
Nov 14
14:00 - 15:00
Melanie Britton, School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham: MRI of electrochemical systems: batteries, corrosion and electroplating
Physical Sciences colloquia

The design and development of improved electrochemical technologies, such as batteries, anti-corrosion, and electroplating, requires detailed understanding of the electrochemical reactions, ion transport and concentration gradients within these systems. 

However, there are few methods that are able to visualise and quantify these non-invasively, spatially, in situ and in real time. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has proved to be an excellent tool for non-invasively studying complex, spatially heterogeneous chemical systems in materials, engineering and chemical research [1]. 

While, MRI has enormous potential for in situ investigation of the spatial distribution, speciation, and mobility of molecules and ions in electrochemical devices, there are currently very few examples of MRI being used to probe such systems. This is largely due to the experimental challenges associated with setting up an electrochemical cell inside a strong magnetic field and the imaging artefacts caused by the presence of metals that lead to undesirable variations in the radiofrequency (RF) and magnetic fields across the sample[2]. However, it has been found, recently, that such technical issues can be overcome and that it is possible to collect viable data[3] in electrochemical systems. 

This talk will present the challenges for studying electrochemical systems by MRI and demonstrate how they can be overcome to enable the collection of unique and quantitative data during the electrodissolution and deposition of metal ions in a range of electrochemical cells. Results will be presented, visualising the discharge process in a model Zn-air battery[4], corrosion of metallic copper in an aqueous electrolyte [5] and the electroplating of zinc in a room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL).

[1] M.M. Britton, Prog. Nucl. Magn. Reson. Spec., 101 (2017) 51-70.[2] L.H. Bennett, P.S. Wang, M.J. Donahue, J. App. Phys., 79 (1996) 4712-4714.[3] A.J. Davenport, M. Forsyth, M.M. Britton, Electrochem. Comm., 12 (2010) 44-47.[4] M.M. Britton, P.M. Bayley, P.C. Howlett, A.J. Davenport, M. Forsyth, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 4 (2013) 3019-3023.[5] J.M. Bray, A.J. Davenport, K.S. Ryder, M.M. Britton, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 55 (2016) 9394-9397.


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