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Title: One-atom-thick crystals as a novel class of proton conducting materials
Author: Lozada Hidalgo, Marcelo
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 1307
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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Graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms, is impermeable to all atoms and molecules; the same can be expected for other 2D crystals like hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). In this work we show that monolayers of graphene and hBN are highly permeable to thermal protons. As a reference, we show that monolayers of molybdenum disulphide as well as bilayers of graphene and tetralayers of hBN are not. Moreover, we show that water plays a crucial role in the transport mechanism. Because of the zero point energy of vibration in the oxygen-hydrogen bonds in water, protons face energy barriers smaller than previously predicted by theory. The effect, revealed by substituting hydrogen for deuterium, also shows that protons and deuterons transport at different rates across the membranes; establishing them as membranes with subatomic selectivity. Beyond the purely scientific implications, our results establish monolayers of graphene and hBN as a promising new class of proton conducting materials with potential applications in fuel cells, hydrogen purification and isotope enrichment technologies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: graphene ; proton ; hBN ; fuel cell ; atom ; transport ; deuterium