David Hatchett, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Research, Executive Director of Research Infrastructure, and Professor of Chemistry and Radiochemistry
My research focuses on the dissolution, coordination, and solubility of f-element species dissolved into ionic liquids. Ionic liquids (ILs) are chemically stable purely ionic solutions at room temperature and they are composed of cation/anion pairs that can be exploited to provide a wide range of tunable physical and chemical properties. Ionic liquids also provide unique solution environments for electrochemical deposition of actinides because traditional side-reactions associated with common working electrodes in aqueous solution are eliminated. The potential windows associated with GC, Pt, and Au working electrodes in IL, ([Me3BuN] [TFSI] trimethyl-n-butylmethylammonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide provide an absolute potentialwindow of approximately 4.5 V for Pt, 5.0 V for Au, and 6.0 V for GC, which encompass the thermodynamic potentials associated with the oxidation/reduction of actinide species to metal. The electrochemical deposition and formation of actinide thin films at electrode interfaces is the primary goal. The methods that are utilized include the synthesis of actinide TFSI complexes that can be directly dissolved into the ionic liquid [Me3BuN] [TFSI] trimethyl-n-butylmethylammonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide. The goal of the research is to increase the ultimate solubility and to facilitate the in-situ formation of stable, coordinated actinide complexes to provide a more systematic and comprehensive approach to the electrochemical deposition of actinides films. To date we have successfully demonstrated the deposition of U metal from ionic liquid using electrochemical methods. Similar results have been obtained for more electropositive lanthanide species.
My research focuses on electrochemistry of materials with applications in fuel cell catalysis, lanthanide/actinide materials, and polymer metal composites.
Electrochemistry, Materials, Chemical Sensor, Catalysis
SEB Program Group: Inorganic Materials & Nanomaterials
SEB Lab Location: 2123/2124
SEB Lab Phone Number: 702-895-3570