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Trainee embarks on new technologies

Research Achievements

Trainee embarks on new technologies

A chemistry student began her graduate career synthesizing proton exchange membranes (PEM) of varying chemistry and process. She also baselined a new support technology for the hydrogen economy, a high temperature electrochemical hydrogen pump. Because of her exposure to different disciplines in her IGERT internship, she nearly quadrupled the tools at her disposal and had the confidence to embark on new technologies. She successfully developed a SEM/TEM sample preparation methodology for phosphoric acid (PA)-doped sol-gel polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes and substantiated this novel sample preparation methodology with wide angle X-ray scattering, energy dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. She found that PA-doped PBI membranes are sensitive to the high vacuum condition of the electron microscope. Therefore, she resuscitated a cryo-SEM system to investigate the microstructure of PA-doped PBI membranes.