The growing demand for energy world-wide has brought increasing attention to developing clean, efficient, renewable fuels. Challenges inherent in the production, storage, and transport of energy are perfectly suited to be solved by chemists in the 21st Century. However, there are several areas of fundamental science that must be better developed prior to large-scale implementation of these goals, as outlined in the United States Department of Energy's Basic Research Needs. One difficulty lies in the necessity of separating, storing, and transferring charge within a single material, even if this material is just one component of a more complex device. Our research program addresses these problems in synthesizing three classes of compounds that will have immediate impact on the Basic Research Needs: 1) metal oxides capable of both performing the water oxidation half-reaction and transporting the electrons needed for hydrogen fuel production; 2) intercalation compounds designed with a high charge capacity, high ion mobility, and improved stability at the electrolyte/cathode interface for Li-ion battery electrodes; and 3) cuprates tailored to study the mechanism of high-Tc superconductivity. Beyond these energy implications, a unifying theme of this research is the synthesis of solid-state materials with well-defined, but easily-tuned structures that allow charge or matter to flow within the solid.
To make progress in the investigation of charge/matter transfer at solid-solid interfaces, we first require a large synthetic effort. Therefore, we are skilled in a variety of synthetic techniques (e.g. solid-state synthesis, air-free Schlenk and glovebox techniques, hydrothermal and sol-gel synthesis) to prepare new solid-state architectures (hard matter) as well as intercalate discrete molecules (soft matter) into these structures. In addition, we perform many physical measurements on the compounds we synthesize (e.g. X-ray structure determination, electronic spectroscopy, electrochemistry, electrical and ionic conductivity, SQUID magnetometry) in order to assess their utility in the aforementioned applications in energy research. We aim to correlate the observed physical properties with the chemical structure of our materials. In this way, the materials that we synthesize will find use in many applications, thus our efforts will undoubtedly have wide-ranging impact in cutting-edge science.
Wegner, D.; Yamachika, R.; Wang, Y.; Brar, V. W.; Bartlett, B. M.; Long, J. R.; Crommie, M. F. Single-Molecule Charge Transfer and Bonding at an Organic/Inorganic Interface: Tetra-cyanoethylene on Noble Metals. Nano Lett . 2008 , 8 , 131-135.
Bartlett, B. M.; Harris, T. D.; DeGroot, M. W.; Long, J. R. High-Spin Ni 3 Fe 2 (CN) 6 and Cu 3 Cr 2 (CN) 6 Clusters Based on a Trigonal Bipyramidal Geometry. Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem. 2007 , 633, 2380-2385.
Kozimor, S. A.; Bartlett, B. M.; Rinehart, J. D.; Long, J. R. Magnetic Exchange Coupling in Chloride-Bridged 5f-3d Heterobimetallic Complexes Generated via Insertion into a Uranium(IV) Dimethylpyrazolate Dimer. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007 , 129 , 10672-10674.
Shores, M. P.; Nytko, E. A..; Bartlett, B. M.; Nocera, D. G. A Structurally Perfect S = ½ Kagomé Antiferromagnet. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005 , 127 , 13462-13463.
Bartlett, B. M.; Nocera, D. G. Long-Range Magnetic Ordering in Iron Jarosites Prepared by Redox-Based Hydrothermal Methods. J. Am. Chem. Soc . 2005 , 127 , 8985-8993.