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Electrochemical intercalation

Intercalation by redox reaction at room temperature with electronic and ionic transfer on semiconducting host networks has been part of the Unit's skill set for many years now.

The end applications of this action mode enable the definition of waste management protocols, obtaining sensors and the modification of electrochrome films (molybdenum oxide cluster phase).

Selective Co2+ ion transfer using an ETJ

Liquid waste management - Electrochemical transfer junction (ETJ)

Molybdenum cluster Mo6X8 avec X = S, Se ETJ

This electrochemical process was initiated in 2006 and is based on the electrochemical reactivity of materials which develop reversible hosting capacities for metallic cations. The process uses the property possessed by matrices to provoke the extraction from the cation of a source solution by a simple electroplating process. The solution is transferred towards a management electrolyte through a junction made up of a tip obtained through chalcogenide compacting with clusters of molybdenum of a thickness of around 80 µm.

We have defined the functioning characteristics of the electroplating process as applicable to the Ni2+, Co2+, Fe2+, Mn2+, Zn2+, Cd2+ and In3+ cations in an aqueous medium.

For example, selective transfer is applicable to the following blends:

- Co2+ - Ni2+ (mining leachates)
- Cd2+/Ni2+ (sulphuric leachates if Ni/Cd accumulators)
- Zn2+ - Ni2+ (processing baths for worn surfaces)

ETJ of the types LixMyOz (with M = Co, Ni, Mn, V, Ti, etc.), LixCoPO4 and LixFePO4

The aim of this type of matrix is to study and define an electrochemical protocol for the extraction/transfer of the lithium ions contained in acid leachates from the processing of ground lithium batteries and Lithium-ion accumulators. This process is based on the Li+ cation's reversible intercalation properties in these different matrices.

Elaboration of sensors

When elaborated in the form of thin films, Mo6S8 can be used to create miniature metal sensors in an aqueous medium. The aim of these studies is mainly to evaluate how these films comply with the required criteria - reproducibility, selectivity, sensitivity, detection threshold (measurement of trace elements), reversibility, fatigue, response time.

Elaboration of inorganic electrochrome systems

The electronic sensitivity of certain phases means their composition - and therefore their electronic and optical (colour) properties - can be modified through intercalation. Our skills in this field will be put to use in collaboration with the Institut Jean Lamour’s “Development of functional thin films » group and an automobile parts manufacturer to create a fully inorganic electrochrome system with transparent electrode bi-films (ITO or ZnO doped Al) / WO3 film in the presence of a solid electrolyte (Nasicon) for the intercalation of sodium ions.