This fundamental project has established that the desired materials with complete channel filling of zeolites and mesoporous materials can be generated reproducibly; and characterisation methods for these novel systems have been developed. The encapsulated materials do not have the required electrochemical properties at present for direct use as battery electrodes, though the zeolites have the ability to enhance the storage capacity, and this aspect is under further investigation. Stable colloidal suspensions of the encapsulated materials have been prepared and used to manufacture transparent low-scattering coatings. The electrical conductivity of these coatings is too low to be of immediate interest. The photophysics of several electron donor-acceptor encapsulated systems have been investigated and appreciable lifetimes of charge-separated species have been noted in two cases. These will be subject of further investigation.
Major problems in the battery and electronics industries are the requirements for low weight devices with high energy storage capacity, and reliable photosystems for circuit writing. The present proposal will address these problems using encapsulated conducting polymers. In particular the work will focus on a newly-discovered route to generate stable polyacetylenes within the voids of microporous systems. These assemblies are cheap and easy to generate being formed spontaneously at room temperature and pressure in appropriately structured zeolites, giving materials with infinitely stable conjugated polymers which completely fill the voids of the porous material. For several years, there has been a recognised potential in industry for a range of conducting polymers, but the technology has never been developed for a variety of reasons, which in the case of polyacetylenes arise from the explosive nature of uncontrolled polymerisation, and the extreme instability of conventional polyacetylene. We propose to examine assemblies generated by spontaneous polymerisation in porous materials and those formed by encapsulation of preformed rigid-rod organometallic polymers and polyarylethenes. This technology is divergent in application, and has considerable potential both in the production of low-weight small-sized batteries and for molecular electronic devices whose operation depends upon a photo-induced electron-transfer process to generate charge-separated species. The use of encapsulated conducting polymers in aluminosilicates avoids the use of heavy metals and many of the currently experienced environmental problems associated with battery technology. The consortium comprises world leaders in both the battery and electronic industries (TUDOR and PHILIPS respectively) and uses a fundamental approach developed through a collaboration between U.Reading and ITQ/UPV to resolve major technical problems associated with stored electrical energy systems and molecular electronic devices. DCU strengthen the partnership by their expertise in the measurement of lifetimes of transient species.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
5600 MD Eindhoven
19200 Azuqueca De Henares