Bipolar electrochemistry for high throughput screening applications
Sammanfattning: Bipolar electrochemistry is an interesting concept for high throughput screening techniques due to the ability to induce gradients in a range of materials and their properties, such as composition, particle size, or dopant levels, among many others. One of the key advantages of the method is the ability to test, create or modify materials without the need for a direct electrical connection. In this thesis, the viability of this method has been explored for a range of possible applications, such as metal recycling, nanoparticle modification and corrosion analysis.In the initial part of the work a process to electrodeposit gradients in metal composition was evaluated, with a view to applying the technique to the extraction and recycling of metals from fly ash. Compositional gradients in the metals under study could be readily obtained from controlled reference solutions, although the spatial resolution of the metals was not sufficient to perform separation. Only copper could be easily deposited from the fly ash solution.Bipolar electrodeposition was also successfully used to modify the particle size across substrates decorated with gold nanoparticles. The approach was demonstrated both for surfaces possessing either a uniform particle density or a gradient in particle density. In the latter case samples with simultaneous, orthogonal gradients in both particle size and density were obtained.A combination of the bipolar approach with rapid image analysis was also evaluated as a method for corrosion screening, using quantitative analysis of gradients in pitting corrosion damage on stainless steels in HCl as a model system. The factors affecting gradient formation and the initiation of corrosion were thoroughly investigated by the use of a scanning droplet cell (SDC) technique and hard x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HAXPES). The ability to screen arrays of different materials for corrosion properties was also investigated, and demonstrated for stainless steel and Ti-Al alloys with pre-formed compositional gradients. The technique shows much promise for further studies and for high throughput corrosion screening applications.
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