Research Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Hampton
Recently, there has been an increase in the use of intermittent renewable energy sources. By possessing a large volumetric charge density while maintaining rapid charging and discharging rates, electrochemical capacitors contribute to the diversity of energy storage materials that are needed to accommodate these new demands. In particular, hexacyanoferrate (HCF) films possess a crystal structure which remains physically unaltered during charge cycling, making it an ideal candidate for a durable pseudocapacitor. Transition metals were deposited onto a gold substrate from solution using an electrochemical cell to produce a NiCo or NiCoCu backbone for the thin films. These films are studied in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) attachment to determine their structures and compositions. This particular study focuses on how the composition and processing of the metal layer affects the HCF film properties including charge storage, charge/discharge rates, and qualitative surface characteristics. Preliminary results suggest that the alloy processing contributes only slightly to variations in electrochemical properties.
This work was generously funded by the Hope College Dean for Natural & Applied Sciences Office, the Hope College Department of Physics, and the National Science Foundation under NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-0959282+