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Functional Ion Conductance and Sensing (FUNICIS)
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This proposal presents unique approaches for the functional characterization of charged interfaces and interfacial phenomena at the nanoscale, through the implementation of an innovative and quantitative ion flux imaging technique. The scientific scope of the project involves the development of a frontier high resolution electrochemical imaging technique, based on scanning ion conductance microscopy that will be capable of probing the nanoscale structure and charge heterogeneity at almost any kind of interface. This represents a major fundamental science aim, that will also open new horizons for the exploration of nanomaterials, including novel electrode materials (graphene and graphene oxide, carbon nanotubes), as well as for imaging self-assembled nanostructures of metallic nanoparticles (NPs). The methodology will allow us to determine the microscopic physicochemical characteristics of individual NPs and their assemblies at soft interfaces and reveal the reactivity of electrocatalytic substrates for fuel cell reactions. We will be able to identify active sites on catalysts and relate these directly to structure - of huge benefit for the understanding and rational design of future functional materials. The research proposal is highly interdisciplinary, and there is a natural fit between the Fellow’s profile and activities at the Host Warwick group. The proposal draws on Fellow’s strong multidisciplinary background in chemistry, mathematical modelling and microtechnology, especially in understanding charged interfaces and nanoscale ion flows, that will be married with the world-leading research on innovative imaging techniques being developed at Warwick. With considerable support and world-leading expertise from the Host group and its collaborators, this project will provide the applicant, Dr. Dmitry Momotenko, with an outstanding opportunity to develop personally and professionally, by pioneering a new area of research in a new geographic location.

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