The Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage (BEES) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) has been established to develop an understanding of how the transport mechanism and electron transfer reactions occur in deep eutectic solvents (DES) and soft nanoparticle (SNP) systems, and how they can be controlled to advance electrochemical performance, from the atomistic level to the macroscopic level in a redox flow battery. Developing this fundamental know-how through synergizing experimental and theoretical investigations will enable design and synthesis of new electrolytes that will transform energy storage.
Advisor: Dr. Burcu Gurkan
Location: Case Western Reserve University
Description: Deep Eutectic solvents (DES) are a new class of solvents that have many potential applications replacing traditional aqueous and organic solvents. Due to their wide electrochemical windows, high solvent strength and extremely low volatility, they are widely studied as electrolytes for energy storage devices. DES are tunable solvents consisting of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors, forming a complex liquid structure. It is important to understand the electrode-solvent interface in DES as it relates to electrochemical kinetics if we are to improve their performance for energy storage devices. One way to probe the interfacial interactions of a DES, ethaline, is using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). EIS works by measuring the response of an electrochemical system to an applied potential over a set frequency range. My experiments are performed in a glovebox to ensure controlled conditions during experiments. Using EIS differential capacitances are determined, giving insight into the macroscopic charge buildup at electrode surfaces.