Our research program is built on developing experimental approaches to understand the physical, electrochemical and transport properties of ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents, and applying these fundamentals to electrochemical processes, separations, and sensors. Our work has three research pillars:
- Solvation and transport in complex fluids;
- Electrode-electrolyte interfaces;
- Material synthesis and fabrication.
Solvation and Transport in Complex Fluids: Ionic liquids, deep eutectic solvents and similarly concentrated electrolytes present new capabilities and opportunities in electrochemical energy storage such as access to wide range of soluble charge carriers at high concentrations, improved electrochemical stability and storage capacity, reduced flammability and volatility. In such complex electrolytes, the ion solvation structure and transport mechanism differ from ideal electrolytes which are dilute and often binary. We aim to develop an understanding of these different mechanisms and specifically investigate how the partial solvation of a solute ion by different counter ions and ligand exchanges impact the solvation structure and ion transport in complex fluids.
Electrode-electrolyte Interfaces: We are developing approaches that simultaneously apply electroanalytical techniques, surface enhanced spectroscopy and reflectivity techniques to probe the interfacial structure of complex electrolytes that are pertinent to energy storage devices, advanced sensors, and electrocatalytic processes.
Our work in the area of solvation, transport and interfaces specific to deep eutectic solvents is part of a greater effort by BEES (Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage) – an Energy Frontier Research Center.
Materials Synthesis and Fabrication: While this research pillar supports many of the projects, our main effort is the development of engineered materials for separations, conversions and sensors. Our unique contribution in the field of CO2 separations addresses the low absorption capacity of existing materials for direct air capture, inadequate gas-liquid surface area and leaching of liquid from its support upon variable pressures and in microgravity. Specifically, we are developing functional and highly selective solvents, and incorporating into polymeric architectures for applications in absorption, adsorption, membrane separations, and potentially adaptable for capture and conversion processes. One aspect of this work is the encapsulation of selective solvents in collaboration with Prof. Emily Pentzer. As we develop highly selective solvents and materials with the understanding of structure-property relations, we combine these with the highly sensitive metamaterials and photonic nanostructures to develop miniaturized chemical sensors with our collaborators: Profs. Michael Hinczewski, Guiseppe Strangi and Umut Gurkan.
Last updated: June 11, 2020. See Google Scholar page for the most current and complete list of publications
- Facilitated Transport Membranes with Ionic Liquids for CO2 Separations
- A Klemm, YY Lee, H Mao, B Gurkan* Frontiers in Chemistry (Women in Science: Chemistry)
- From salt in solution to solely ions – solvation of methyl viologen in deep eutectic solvents and ionic liquids
- J Klein, H Squire, W Dean, B Gurkan* The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 124 (29) 6348-6357
- Liquid Structure and Transport Properties of the Deep Eutectic Solvent Ethaline. Y Zhang, D Poe, L Heroux, H Squire, B Doherty, M Dadmun, B Gurkan, M Tuckerman, E Maginn*. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2020, in press
- Encapsulated Reactive Ionic Liquids for Solid Sorbent Contactors to Separate CO2 from Dilute Gas Mixtures. YY Lee, K Edgehouse, A Klemm, H Mao, E Pentzer, B Gurkan*. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2020, 12 (16) 19184–1919
- An electroanalytical investigation of the electrode-electrolyte interface of quaternary ammonium ionic liquids: Impact of alkyl chain length and ether functionality. J Klein, H Squire, B Gurkan*. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2020, 124 (10) 5613–5623 (Front cover)
- Metal-Free Deep Eutectic Solvents: Preparation, Characterization, and Considerations. B Gurkan*, H Squire, E Pentzer*. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2019, 10 (24) 7956–7964 (Invited perspective, front cover)
- Pyrrolidinium Ionic Liquid Electrolyte with TFSI and FSI Anions: Lithium Solvation and Mobility, and Performance in Lithium Metal – Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries. Q Huang, YY Lee, B Gurkan*. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2019, 58 (50) 22587–22597 (invited to special issue “Chuck Eckert Festschrift”)
- Hybrid Ionic Liquid Capsules for Rapid CO2 Capture. Q Huang, Q Liu, Y Wang, E Pentzer, B Gurkan*. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2019, 58 (24), 10503–10509 (invited to special issue “2019 Class of Influential Researchers”)
- Improved accessibility of porous carbon electrodes with surfactant ionic liquids for supercapacitors. N Xu, J Klein, P Huang, H Alwusaydi, E Mann, B Gurkan*. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 2019, 49 (2), 151–162
- Potential dependent capacitance of [EMIM][TFSI], [N1114][TFSI] and [PYR13][TFSI] ionic liquids. J Klein, E Panichi, B Gurkan*. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2019, 21 (7), 3712–3720 (back cover)
- Solvation Structure and Dynamics of Li+ in Binary Ionic Liquids. Q Huang, T deCostaLourenco, Y Zhang, L Costa, EJ Maginn, B Gurkan*. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2018, 123 (2), 516–527
- Carbon Capsules of Ionic Liquid for Enhanced Supercapacitor Performance. Q Luo, P Wei, Q Huang, B Gurkan*, EP Pentzer*. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2018, 10 (19), 16707–16714