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Title: Ammonia borane and its derivatives : high weight percentage hydrogen storage materials
Author: Hore, Katie
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Ammonia borane and ammonium borohydride have been considered extensively as potential hydrogen storage materials. This thesis reports their structure and functional properties, emphasising the key role that dihydrogen bonding plays in both materials. The formation of a 'mobile phase' is considered to be the preliminary step in the decomposition of ammonia borane. The formation of this mobile phase has been studied using neutron diffraction, inelastic neutron spectroscopy and NMR. It has been found that in the mobile phase, 'end-to-end' flipping of the ammonia borane molecule occurs. This is an important precursor to the next step in the decomposition: the formation of the diammoniate of diborane. The dihydrogen bonding networks which occur in both the orthorhombic and the tetragonal phases of ammonia borane, and are the controlling factor in the decomposition process, were investigated using Density Functional Theory Molecular Dynamics (DFT-MD) simulations. It was hence shown that in the high-temperature tetragonal phase of ammonia borane, dihydrogen bonding is still an important stabilising interaction and there is little to distinguish between the three crystallographically distinct dihydrogen bonds. A closely related hydrogen storage material, ammonium borohydride, was also studied using the same techniques. Its low temperature phase progression was examined using variable temperature neutron diffraction. The vibrational modes of ammonium borohydride were assigned by comparing vibrational spectra determined using inelastic neutron spectroscopy with the results of DFT-MD simulations. Quasielastic neutron spectroscopy was used to show that both the ammonium and borohydride groups in ammonium borohydride perform discrete 'hopping' reorientational motions at a wide range of temperatures, and that the ammonium group has a mean residence time approximately 100 times less than that of the borohydride group. Hydrogen atom densities in the ammonium group were determined from DFT-MD simulations, and from refinements of high-resolution neutron diffraction data using cubic harmonic basis functions.
Supervisor: Edwards, Peter; David, Bill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physical Sciences ; Chemistry & allied sciences ; Crystallography ; Hydrogen Storage ; ammonia borane ; ammonium borohydride