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Volume 1, September

Physchem, Volume 1, Issue 1 (June 2021) – 7 articles

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Review
Net Zero and Catalysis: How Neutrons Can Help
Physchem 2021, 1(1), 95-120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physchem1010007 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 898
Abstract
Net Zero has the aim of achieving equality between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. There is widespread acceptance that for Net Zero to be achievable, chemistry, and hence catalysis, must play a major role. [...] Read more.
Net Zero has the aim of achieving equality between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. There is widespread acceptance that for Net Zero to be achievable, chemistry, and hence catalysis, must play a major role. Most current studies of catalysts and catalysis employ a combination of physical methods, imaging techniques and spectroscopy to provide insight into the catalyst structure and function. One of the methods used is neutron scattering and this is the focus of this Perspective. Here, we show how neutron methods are being used to study reactions and processes that are directly relevant to achieving Net Zero, such as methane reforming, Fischer–Tropsch synthesis, ammonia and methanol production and utilization, bio-mass upgrading, fuel cells and CO2 capture and exploitation. We conclude by describing some other areas that offer opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Chemistry Perspectives for the New Decade)
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Article
Methane Production from H2 + CO2 Reaction: An Open Molecular Science Case for Computational and Experimental Studies
Physchem 2021, 1(1), 82-94; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physchem1010006 - 02 Jun 2021
Viewed by 807
Abstract
The article illustrates the synergy between theoretical/computational advances and advanced experimental achievements to pursue green chemistry and circular economy technological implementations. The specific green chemistry focus concerns the production of carbon neutral fuels by converting waste carbon dioxide into methane. Both theoretical-computational and [...] Read more.
The article illustrates the synergy between theoretical/computational advances and advanced experimental achievements to pursue green chemistry and circular economy technological implementations. The specific green chemistry focus concerns the production of carbon neutral fuels by converting waste carbon dioxide into methane. Both theoretical-computational and technological means were adopted to design a functional option implementing a heterogeneous catalysis process (Paul Sabatier (PS) catalytic reduction) to convert carbon dioxide into methane, and to further drive its evolution towards the employment of an alternative homogeneous gas phase plasma assisted technology. The details of both the theoretical and the experimental components of the study are presented and discussed. Future potential developments, including industrial ones, are outlined that are also from innovative collaborative economic prosumer model perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Chemistry Perspectives for the New Decade)
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Article
An Electrochemical Impedance Study of Alkaline Water Splitting Using Fe Doped NiO Nanosheets
Physchem 2021, 1(1), 69-81; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physchem1010005 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 546
Abstract
Mixed nickel-iron (Ni-Fe) compounds have recently emerged as promising non-precious electrocatalysts for alkaline water splitting. The understanding of the charge-transfer mechanism involved in the multi-step Faradic reaction, however, is still limited for the overall electrochemical process. In this paper, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) [...] Read more.
Mixed nickel-iron (Ni-Fe) compounds have recently emerged as promising non-precious electrocatalysts for alkaline water splitting. The understanding of the charge-transfer mechanism involved in the multi-step Faradic reaction, however, is still limited for the overall electrochemical process. In this paper, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements of Fe incorporated Ni oxide nanosheets were used to study the reaction kinetics for both hydrogen (HER) and oxygen (OER) evolution reactions in alkaline media. Our results showed that Fe incorporation improves the catalytic property of NiO nanosheets because of the lower reaction resistance and faster intermediate transformations. Detailed EIS modeling enables a separation of the surface coverage relaxation from the charge transfer resistance, with an inductive behavior observed in the low-frequency range for HER, holding important information on the dominating reaction mechanism. For OER, the good agreement between the EIS experimental results and a model with an inductance loop indicated that similar inductive behavior would be determining the EIS response at very low frequencies. The physical significance of the elementary steps gives insight into the governing reaction mechanisms involved in the electron and hole charge transfer, as well as the inherent properties of catalysts and their surface coverage relaxation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Chemistry Perspectives for the New Decade)
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Article
Vibrational Analysis of Benziodoxoles and Benziodazolotetrazoles
Physchem 2021, 1(1), 45-68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physchem1010004 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Tetrazoles are well known for their high positive enthalpy of formation which makes them attractive as propellants, explosives, and energetic materials. As a step towards a deeper understanding of the stability of benziodazolotetrazole (BIAT)-based materials compared to their benziodoxole (BIO) counterparts, we investigated [...] Read more.
Tetrazoles are well known for their high positive enthalpy of formation which makes them attractive as propellants, explosives, and energetic materials. As a step towards a deeper understanding of the stability of benziodazolotetrazole (BIAT)-based materials compared to their benziodoxole (BIO) counterparts, we investigated in this work electronic structure features and bonding properties of two monovalent iodine precursors: 2-iodobenzoic acid and 5-(2-iodophenyl)tetrazole and eight hypervalent iodine (III) compounds: I-hydroxybenzidoxolone, I-methoxybenziodoxolone, I-ethoxybenziodoxolone, I-iso-propoxybenziodoxolone and the corresponding I-hydroxyben ziodazolotetrazole, I-methoxybenziodazolotetrazole, I-ethoxybenziodazolotetrazole and I-iso- propoxybenziodazolotetrazole. As an efficient tool for the interpretation of the experimental IR spectra and for the quantitative assessment of the I−C, I−N, and I−O bond strengths in these compounds reflecting substituent effects, we used the local vibrational mode analysis, originally introduced by Konkoli and Cremer, complemented by electron density and natural bond orbital analyses. Based on the hypothesis that stronger bonds correlate with increased stability, we predict that, for both series, i.e., substituted benziodoxoles and benziodazolotetrazoles, the stability increases as follows: I-iso-propoxy < I-ethoxy < I-methoxy < I-hydroxy. In particular, the I−N bonds in the benziodazolotetrazoles could be identified as the so-called trigger bonds being responsible for the initiation of explosive decomposition in benziodazolotetrazoles. The new insight gained by this work will allow for the design of new benziodazolotetrazole materials with controlled performance or stability based on the modulation of the iodine bonds with its three ligands. The local mode analysis can serve as an effective tool to monitor the bond strengths, in particular to identify potential trigger bonds. We hope that this article will foster future collaboration between the experimental and computational community being engaged in vibrational spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Chemistry Perspectives for the New Decade)
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Perspective
The Importance of Interphases in Energy Storage Devices: Methods and Strategies to Investigate and Control Interfacial Processes
Physchem 2021, 1(1), 26-44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physchem1010003 - 13 Apr 2021
Viewed by 545
Abstract
Extended interphases are playing an increasingly important role in electrochemical energy storage devices and, in particular, in lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries. With this in mind we initially address the differences between the concepts of interface and interphase. After that, we discuss in [...] Read more.
Extended interphases are playing an increasingly important role in electrochemical energy storage devices and, in particular, in lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries. With this in mind we initially address the differences between the concepts of interface and interphase. After that, we discuss in detail the mechanisms of solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation in Li-ion batteries. Then, we analyze the methods for interphase characterization, with emphasis put on in-situ and operando approaches. Finally, we look at the near future by addressing the issues underlying the lithium metal/electrolyte interface, and the emerging role played by the cathode electrolyte interphase when high voltage materials are employed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Chemistry Perspectives for the New Decade)
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Review
Natural Materials—Interesting Candidates for Carbon Nanomaterials
Physchem 2021, 1(1), 4-25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physchem1010002 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 941
Abstract
This review sums up the techniques used for the synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs), and carbon nanospheres (CNSs) by employing catalysts of natural origin. Establishing large-scale production and commercial applications of CNTs for a sustainable society is still of high [...] Read more.
This review sums up the techniques used for the synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs), and carbon nanospheres (CNSs) by employing catalysts of natural origin. Establishing large-scale production and commercial applications of CNTs for a sustainable society is still of high apprehension. In this regard, one of the major factors is the starting materials such as precursors and catalyst sources. However, natural materials contain a minor quantity of metals or metal oxides and could be employed as a catalyst source for the synthesis of CNTs, providing the possibility to replace expensive catalyst sources. A large number of successful studies have been completed so far and confirm that these developed methods for carbon nanomaterials synthesis exhibiting high quality from common natural materials are not only possible but, most importantly, promising and scalable. This review also highlights purification methods and recent promising applications of as-synthesized CNTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanoscience)
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Editorial
PhysChem: A New Physical Chemistry Journal
Physchem 2021, 1(1), 1-3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physchem1010001 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 654
Abstract
Physical chemistry is broadly defined as the branch of chemistry devoted to the study of how matter behaves on a molecular and atomic level and how chemical reactions occur [...] Full article
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