Dr Luke O'Dell
+61 522 73076
Deakin Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
Institute for Frontier Materials
Geelong Technology Precinct
75 Pigdons Road
Waurn Ponds Victoria 3216
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a versatile experimental technique that can provide detailed information on a sample's structure and dynamics, down to the atomic level. Since these microscopic properties usually determine the behaviour of the chemical or material as a whole, this information is extremely important. NMR is quantitative, non-destructive, and can be used to study solids, liquids or gases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the same principles, but results in spatially-resolved images rather than frequency-domain spectra. At Deakin we use both NMR and MRI to solve a diverse range of problems in chemistry and materials science. Some of our research areas are outlined below.
Solid-state NMR methods developmentAs well as applying a diverse range of modern NMR techniques to characterise advanced materials, we are also developing new NMR methodologies. In particular we are interested in studying some of the more unusual or exotic nuclei that are not routinely observed by NMR, such as 14N. These are often more difficult to deal with than 'standard' nuclei such as 13C, and generally require advanced experimental methods, but they also bring their own advantages and can provide unique information.
Structure, dynamics and ion transport in electromaterialsNovel electrolyte materials such as organic ionic plastic crystals can exhibit complex phase behaviour and numerous dynamic processes. NMR line widths obtained from such samples can be analysed to obtain dynamic rates and geometries, telling us how the various molecules are moving in relation to each other in each phase of the sample. Relaxation or diffusion measurements can also allow ion transport to be observed and quantified. This information allows us to design improved materials for applications in energy storage devices, such as safer, more efficient and more sustainable batteries.
Magnetic resonance micro-imaging
The use of magnetic resonance imaging to study electrochemical cells in situ as they are being charged and discharged is a very recent concept, and at Deakin we are currently developing new techniques and applications in this area. This will allow an unprecedented insight into the physical and chemical processes occurring in the cells, and will contribute to the development of longer lasting and more efficient batteries.
Supramolecular chemistryResearchers from Deakin's School of Life and Environmental Sciences use solution-state NMR to identify atomic interactions within host-guest complexes. For example, the isotherms generated from a 1H NMR titration can be used to quantify these interactions via an association constant; a measure of how 'tightly' the host interacts with the guest. Such information is crucial in the study of capture agents and selective sensors for species such as fluoride.
Deakin University CRICOS Provider Code: 00113B