Source: LBNL TABL, Dan Hawkes
Iron oxide (rust) is a poor electrical conductor, but electrons in iron oxide can use thermal energy to hop from one iron atom to another. A Berkeley Lab experiment has now revealed exactly what happens to electrons after being transferred to an iron oxide particle. (Image courtesy of Benjamin Gilbert, Berkeley Lab)
In work at the Advanced Photon Source (Argonne National Laboratory,
Chicago), Ben Gilbert of the Earth Sciences Division recently led a
group of scientists (including ESD’s Glenn Waychunas, and ex-ESD’ers
Jordan Katz and Cathrine Frandsen) in an experiment resulting in the
first direct observations of electron hopping in iron oxide (i.e., rust)
particles. This phenomenon holds huge significance for a broad range
of environment- and energy-related applications.
For more information, go to the LBNL News Center
Citation: Katz, J.E., X. Zhang, K. Attenkofer, K.W. Chapman, C.
Frandsen, P. Zarzycki, K.M. Rosso, R.W. Falcone, G.A. Waychunas, and B.
Gilbert (2012), Electron small polarons and their mobility in iron
(oxyhydr)oxide nanoparticles. Science (in press).