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The University of Southampton

Research project: Bartlett: Electrodeposition in Supercritical Fluids - Dormant

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Supercritical fluids can penetrate the smallest pores and are interesting solvents for electrodeposition of nanostructured materials.

Supercritical fluids offer significant potential advantages as solutions for electrodeposition - mass transport rates in the supercritical phase are high (diffusion coefficients of 10-4 cm2 s-1 or more), it is possible to have a wide potential window, deposition can take place at elevated temperature, there is no surface tension so wetting of nanostructure is not a problem, gas evolution does not cases the formation of bubbles at the growing electrode surface.

There are significant challenges in using supercritical fluids as solvents for electrodeposition: they have low dielectric constants so dissolving the electrolyte to achieve sufficient conductivity is a problem, the reactions need to be carried out in sealed pressure vessels, and design of reference electrodes can all be difficult.

Pressure cell
Click on image to enlarge

With funding from an EPSRC Programme grant and in collaboration with colleagues in Southampton, Nottingham and Manchester we have investigated the electrodeposition of metals and semiconductors from supercritical fluids for nanomaterial deposition. The project involved the synthesis of novel electrolytes, measurement of the phase behaviour of supercritical electrolyte solutions, measurement of electrolyte conductivity and studies of electrochemistry in these solutions.

Related research groups

Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular Chemistry

Key Publications

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