/Evaluating ionic conductivity in mesoporous silica using patterned electrodes

Evaluating ionic conductivity in mesoporous silica using patterned electrodes

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Reduce the/your green house contribution

Combining high surface area mesoporous sol-gel materials with tailored functional groups to enhance ionic conductivity has attracted immense interest within various research communities. A specific interesting field is the application of surface functionalized mesoporous materials as solid-state electrolyte coatings for energy conversion, typically in designing membranes.


At present, Nafion is one of the most used membranes for proton (H+) transport going up to 0.2 S/cm depending on its thickness and hydration levels. The sulfonic acid groups attached to the polymer matrix of Nafion facilitate the transport of H+ ions via channel formations. In addition, various surface functionalized mesoporous materials with tunable meso-channels can be deliberately designed to tune its proton conductivity by sol-gel chemistry.


In this master thesis you will work on fabricating mesoporous silica and evaluating its proton conductivity on patterned electrodes. Furthermore, the surface of this mesoporous silica matrix may be functionalized to enhance its proton conductivity. Also, a model to explain the conductivity in our system will be developed. Characterization techniques such as FTIR, Raman, Optical/electron microscopy and impedance measurements will be utilized to acquire data. In essence, this topic would give you a good foundation into electrochemistry, improve your presentation skills and would offer you with an opportunity to be a part of an active research environment at the Electrochemical Energy Conversion team, IMEC.

Type of project: Thesis, Internship

Duration: 1 year

Required degree: Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Venkataramana Rishikesan (Venkataramana.Rishikesan@imec.be)

Only for self-supporting students.

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