Advanced Storage Materials

Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier that can potentially facilitate the transition from fossil fuels to sources of clean energy to help reduce CO2 emissions. However, a critical obstacle in the widespread application of hydrogen fuel technologies, especially for transportation purposes, is the lack of a safe, efficient method to store large quantities of H2 gas. While the most likely short-term solution to this problem is the use of composite pressure vessels, developing new solid-state hydrogen storage systems would have a major impact on future storage technologies.

Practical solid-state hydrogen storage for vehicle transportation requires materials with high volumetric and gravimetric densities. Moreover, optimum thermodynamic and kinetic windows are needed for hydrogen absorption and desorption at reasonable temperatures and pressures. CRF efforts in the area of hydrogen storage focus on new materials and systems for compact hydrogen storage. Our efforts couple the power of computational simulation (first-principles methods, structural prediction, phase equilibrium modeling),unique synthetic capabilities (high-pressure H2 stations, high-vacuum systems) and advanced materials characterization (state-of-the-art diffraction and spectroscopic techniques) to design new materials and engineersystems for efficient and safe hydrogen storage.

Instrumentation and Capabilities

  • Recent addition to our x-ray laboratory: a dual wavelength SuperNova single-crystal diffractometer (Oxford Diffraction)

    State-of-the-art single-crystal (microfocus molybdenum and copper sources) and powder and x-ray diffractometers with high-temperature/high-pressure stages for in situ studies

  • X-ray absorption and fluorescence
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), including high-pressure (10-MPa) DSC
  • Thermal gravimetric analysis, coupled with DSC and mass spectroscopy
  • Simultaneous thermogravimetric modulated beam mass spectrometry
  • Scanning probe microscopies (atomic force microscopy, scanning-tunneling microscopy) and electron microscopies (scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy) with energy-dispersive spectroscopy
  • Ultraviolet and visible, ifrared, and Raman absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy

    Recent addition to our x-ray laboratory: multipurpose Empyrean powder diffractometer (PANalytical)

  • High-temperature, high-pressure Fourier transform infrared and Raman stages
  • Dynamic light scattering particle size analysis
  • Electrical and laser diagnostics and interfaces
  • Multiprobe potentiostats
  • Microporosimetry using various gases (N2, H2, argon, krypton, CH4)
  • High-pressure hydrogen stations (up to 200 MPa H2 pressure)
  • Sieverts and projected capacitive technology instruments with microdoser capability
  • Fully equipped wet-chemistry laboratories including glove-boxes, Schlenk lines, ovens, and specialized vacuum equipment
Contact: Vitalie Stavila, (925) 294-3059,