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Forces, structures and ion dynamics in nano-confined and electrified solid/fluid/solid gaps

Markus Valtiner, TU Vienna


Being able to probe electrolyte structures and ion mobility in nanometer confined cavities/pores is central for the fundamental understanding and steering of various processes in biologic and material systems. I will show how force probe experiments can be utilized for studying interfacial physics at solid/liquid/solid interfaces. The talk will discuss recent technological achievements, and show how micro-to-nano and ultimately subnanometer confinement can be achieved and probed using the Surface Forces Apparatus. Ion-mobility and structuring in confined spaces during reactive and non-reactive conditions can be measured in real time. This includes ion-layering and confinement induced effects, such as enhanced reactivity, decreased ion-mobility, electric double layer overlapping and more. I will limit the discussion to electrochemical and ionic liquid systems, yet I will provide a broader perspective how to develop the technique further, and how recent advances can already find new exciting applications, across sometimes unexpected fields. These range from studying physiologic processes, to technologic application in catalysis, microfluidics or geology.