1. Sensitive and Specific: A New Way of Probing Electrolyte/Electrode Interfaces

    Sensitive and Specific: A New Way of Probing Electrolyte/Electrode Interfaces

    One of the most important things to understand in battery technology is the precise physical and chemical processes that occur at the electrode/electrolyte interface. However, microscopic understanding of these processes is quite limited due to a lack of suitable probing techniques. Now, researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new technique that enables sensitive and specific detection of molecules at the electrode/electrolyte interface.

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    1. Most of the electrical chemical reaction in a battery happens at the electrolyte/electrode interface, and it is important to know how tuning the electrode voltage induces field-dependent chemical processes. This requires distinction between microscopic molecule behavior at the interface, such as physical absorption, and electrochemical reaction from the bulky electrolyte solution.
    2. The scientific community now has available impressive techniques for the growth, transfer, and geometrical shaping of graphene for electronic and optical application.
    3. Beyond the vibration range of the methyl groups used in this work, there are plenty of other interesting chemical processes involving molecules whose vibration are in the infrared range. The more we know about the interface molecule behavior, the more guidance we have for device design.
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