CLF Newsbite: How can 2D-IR be used in fuel cell research?
27 Apr 2021
- Shikha Gianchandani





The CLF-Ultra LIFEtime instrument making molecular dynamics measurements​​​


​In the past couple of years, there has been a rising interest in fuel cell research due to it being a cost effective and environmentally friendly option for the future. However, before it becomes a fully viable resource that can be exploited, there are research gaps that have to be filled.

Ultra scientist, Dr Paul Donaldson has collaborated with researchers from the University of Pittsburgh to study electrolytes called, protic ionic liquids (PIL). PILs are promising candidates for fuel cell production in the future because of useful properties like thermal stability and 'water-like' hydrogen bonding.

The aim of the experiment, conducted at the Central Laser Facility, was to study the motions of PILs around thiocyanate ions. Thiocyanate ions are used because they sense how each molecule moves. In turn, researchers can then use the Ultra laser to extract information from the 2D-IR spectrum of the thiocyanate vibrations.

The research in the paper demonstrates how ​quick CLF's LIFEtime 2D-IR system is and how it can be used in practical applications, such as that of the development of next-generation fuel cells.

Further information:

The paper can be found at DOI:

Contact: Gianchandani, Shikha (STFC,RAL,ISIS)