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Novel electromaterials, such as organic ionic plastic crystals, can be characterised by a large number of experimental techniques. NMR has the potential to provide crucial, complementary information on these systems, for example NMR line widths 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.
NMR is a powerful tool for identifying atomic interactions within host-guest complexes. The isotherms generated from a 1H NMR titration can be used to quantify these interactions via an association constant; a measure of how 'tight' the host interacts with the guest. Such information is crucial in the study of capture agents and selective sensors for species such as fluoride.
The use of magnetic resonance imaging to study electrochemical cells in situ as they are being charged and discharged is a very recent development, and at Deakin we now have the capability to run such experiments. This will allow an unprecedented insight into the chemical processes occurring inside these cells, and will contribute to the development of longer lasting and more efficient batteries.
As 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 used in NMR, such as 14N. These are often more difficult to deal with than standard nuclei such as
13C, and generally require advanced experimental methods.