Project A01: 1D, 2D, and 3D self-supporting objects based on functionalised porous polymers for ion conduction
Project A01 aims at synthesising electrolyte-host systems based on covalent-organic frameworks (COFs) or porous polymers (PPs). They feature nanoporosities which can be varied systematically in pore size and dimensionality and are adaptable in their chemical functionality to absorb different electrolytes. Based on electrospinning, we will shape the COF/PP hosts into fibres, membranes or sponges. This introduces an intriguing multiscale porosity for which we aim to investigate and understand its impact on charge and mass transport in the confined structured hosts.
Project A02: Proton and water transport in functionalised porous electrode structures
In gas diffusion electrodes (GDE) used in fuel cells, multiple transport pathways of different carrier types need to be understood and coupled effectively. We will design porous GDEs, based on M/N-SiC(N) catalyst materials, which facilitate the coupled transport of protons, electrons, and water while the phosphoric acid matrix is immobilised inside the pore network, close to the catalyst particles. Multiple material parameters, including the framework porosity and chemical functionality, will systematically be varied to understand their impact on the mass, ion and electron transport and fuel cell performance.
Project A03: Oriented growth and oriented transport of ions in aligned pores
In project A03, 2D hexagonally ordered, vertically aligned pore systems based on SiO2 are used to systematically study the transport characteristics of ionic carriers in these highly anisotropic channels. Measurements of the proton transport and the catalytic activity of the 1D Co3O4 electrocatalyst materials produced therein will be fed back to the synthesis of the pore structures with the aim of investigating their influence on the transport of the respective ions.
Project A04:Transport mechanisms of electrolytes under the influence of nanoscale confinements
Project A04 combines various NMR experiments with DFT and MD simulations to investigate the transport processes of ions and solvent molecules in nanoscale-structured electrolyte-host systems. We exploit that the used experimental and computational methods yield component-selective information on various length and time scales. Applying this methodology systematically to the electrolyte-host systems of our CRC-collaborators, we expect to understand the influence of confinements on the mass and charge transport of the embedded electrolytes.
Project A05: Directional ionic conductivity in two-dimensionally confined structures
Project A05 studies anisotropic ion conduction in the confinement between silicate nanosheets, which have huge aspect ratios and electrostatically repel each other in the swollen state. The separation of the nanosheets is controlled by their charging state, the electrolyte concentration, as well as the solvent mixture. The systematic variation of these parameters will allow for elucidating the charge transport properties as a function of nanosheet separation, molecular mobility and mass transport of the dispersion medium. This approach will foster a fundamental understanding of “superionic conductivity” or “ionic current rectification”.