During the award period, I plan to work on designing and implementing experiments to better understand the charge transfer kinetics and electric fields at a battery electrode/electrolyte interface. The model system will be a titanium dioxide (TiO2) electrode immersed in an electrolyte of perchlorate salt dissolved in acetonitrile. I will functionalize the TiO2 electrodes with dipole modifiers and use spectroelectrochemistry analytical techniques to monitor changes to the system. Specifically, in-situ electrochemical attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy will be used to probe the vibrational modes of the nitrile group in the electrolyte solvent as a function of applied potential. This data will be used to track the effects of surface dipole modification and electrolyte composition/concentration on solvent reduction during charge and discharge. Additionally, the local electric field at the solid/liquid interface will be quantified.
Advisor: Cody Schlenker – Chemistry