Trilogy of Research Domains at eclat

  • As eclat stands for "electrochemistry lab of advanced technologies", we have two research axes: Electrochemistry as an abscissa and Materials Chemistry as an ordinate.

  • Three research domains do we have.
    • [Phase 1] Synthesis of Advanced Electroactive materials for the state-of-the-art energy conversion and storage devices
    • [Phase 2] Novel Energy devices based on new electroactive pairs and new electrochemical principles for next generation
    • [Ground 0] in situ Electrochemical analysis to provide electrochemically meaningful information on electrochemical systems.


Analogy between our research and Star Wars

Have you ever heard The original Trilogy of Star Wars? Maybe. The first film of the series was released in 1977.
  • A New Hope = New concept Energy devices: To obtain higher energy and power densities, we need to create and use novel concepts and materials to enable enhanced energy devices. Our lab always respects a creative idea which would be a only hope for sustaining our society.

  • The Empire Strikes Back = Advanced Energy materials: Even if we emphsized the developments of new concept devices, it would be still important to enhance the current energy devices because they would be still working after several tens of years. Therefore, we are trying to develop nanostructured materials for lithium ion batteries and to introduce new materials for supercapacitors.

  • Return of the Jedi = in situ Electrochemical analysis: While everybody in the field of science and technology focuses on the issues related to impact factors and popular topics related to nano something or graphene blah blah, the basic should be considered always important. Electrochemistry is the background to make everyday's energy devices possible. Therefore, it would be very important to analyze energy devices from the electrochemical viewpoints.



[Ground 0] Electrochemistry: Who & Why?

  • Chemistry is a discipline to study the interactions between atoms and molecules. The interactions are dominantly governed by electrons.

  • Electrons are transferred from a molecule (A) to another (B) during chemical reactions where A is oxidized or loses electrons and simultaneously B is reduced or gains electrons:
    • A = A+ + e-
      B + e- (directly from A) = B-

  • The electron transfer directly happens between the two molecules A and B. How can we control and ultimately utilize those electrons for our life?

  • Electrochemistry physically separate oxidants from reductants to block the direct electron transfer between them. Electrons detour through a circuit of electronic conductor:
    • A = A+ + e-
      B + e- (from A through a circuit) = B-

  • Various energy conversion and storage deivces are based on electrochemistry:
    • Primary and secondary (rechargeable) batteries
    • Electrochemical capacitors (Ultracapacitors): Electric double layer capacitors (EDLC), Pseudocapacitors (Supercapacitors)
    • Fuel cells, Biofuel cells
    • Solar cells (especially, Dye-sensitized solar cells or DSSC)
    • Electrochromic devices

[Phase 1] Advanced Electroactive materials

  • [Phase 1] As of now, three research domains do we have. As the most materials-chemistry-oriented domain, we have tried to develop and synthesize advanced version of electroactive materials including:
    • cathode and anode materials for lithium ion batteries
    • pesudo-capacitive electrode materials for supercapacitors.

  • Solubility product (Ksp) principle for controlling morphology of lithium metal phosphates (LiMePO4) as a cathode material for lithium ion batteries
    • Evolution of a hollow sphere secondary structure of LiMePO4 (Me = Fe, Cu, Ni) nanoparticles
    • Restricted Growth of LiMnPO4 Nanoparticles Evolved from a Precursor Seed

  • The hypothesis of Effective charge balancing was proposed for explaining the effect of electronegative additives on cathode materials

  • Incorporation of Functional Dopants enables conducting polymers (CPs) revisited by gracing CPs with additional functionality. Refer to an article below titled by New Era for Conducting Polymers: Incorportaion of functional dopants.
    • Graphene-doped Conducting Polymers for Pseudocapacitors with a Miscible Electron Transfer Interface



[Phase 2] New concept Energy devices

  • [Phase 2] Even if we are focusing on enhancing the devices that many researchers have been studying, our grand direction of research are shifting from "already well known" to "new concept" energy devices.

  • For the first example, we are devising a solar cell/battery hybrid device that directly converts solar energy to chemical energy like  photosynthesis.

  • Also, new chemistry is being under development for energy storage devices. For example, think about how we can use the rigorous reactions between aluminum and iodine in presence of water. Electrochemistry enables uncontrollable reactions controlled.

[Back to Ground 0] in situ electrochemical analysis

  • [Ground 0] The most dominant background behind our lab is Electrochemistry. From the basic viewpoint of electrochemists, we are developing in situ electrochemical analysis on energy materials and devices.
    • Electrochemical Porosimetry (ECP): to get electrochemically meaningful information from electrodes: Do you think that the pore size distribution of porous electrode materials obtained by using N2 adsorption is electrochemically meaningful? Please refer to the homepage of ECP (http://home.postech.ac.kr/~hksong/ ).
    • Fourier Transformed Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (FT-EiS): The methodology was first invented by Prof. Su-Moon Park, the most eminent korean electrochemistry, now working in UNIST. By the help of the great electrochemist, we are extracting valuable kinetic information from electrochemical energy conversion and storage systems. The power of FT-EiS originates from its fast measurement speed that make it possible to investigate the dynamics of electrochemical reactions instead of thermodynamics.

  • Studies on doping/dedoping processes of conducting polymers doped with an electroactive dopants
    • Suppression of the loss of an electroactive dopant from polypyrrole by using a non-aqueous electrolyte of dopant-phobicity



Another eclat! Lovely!


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