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  1. Abstract Germanium-based oxides such as rutile GeO 2 are garnering attention owing to their wide band gaps and the prospects of ambipolar doping for application in high-power devices. Here, we present the use of germanium tetraisopropoxide (GTIP), a metal-organic chemical precursor, as a source of germanium for the demonstration of hybrid molecular beam epitaxy for germanium-containing compounds. We use Sn 1- x Ge x O 2 and SrSn 1- x Ge x O 3 as model systems to demonstrate our synthesis method. A combination of high-resolution X-ray diffraction, scanning transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirms the successful growth of epitaxial rutile Sn 1- x Ge x O 2 on TiO 2 (001) substrates up to x  = 0.54 and coherent perovskite SrSn 1- x Ge x O 3 on GdScO 3 (110) substrates up to x  = 0.16. Characterization and first-principles calculations corroborate that germanium occupies the tin site, as opposed to the strontium site. These findings confirm the viability of the GTIP precursor for the growth of germanium-containing oxides by hybrid molecular beam epitaxy, thus providing a promising route to high-quality perovskite germanate films.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Forecasting models are a central part of many control systems, where high-consequence decisions must be made on long latency control variables. These models are particularly relevant for emerging artificial intelligence (AI)-guided instrumentation, in which prescriptive knowledge is needed to guide autonomous decision-making. Here we describe the implementation of a long short-term memory model (LSTM) for forecasting in situ electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) data, one of the richest analytical probes of materials and chemical systems. We describe key considerations for data collection, preprocessing, training, validation, and benchmarking, showing how this approach can yield powerful predictive insight into order-disorder phase transitions. Finally, we comment on how such a model may integrate with emerging AI-guided instrumentation for powerful high-speed experimentation.

  3. Water electrolysis can use renewable electricity to produce green hydrogen, a portable fuel and sustainable chemical precursor. Improving electrolyzer efficiency hinges on the activity of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalyst. Earth-abundant, ABO3-type perovskite oxides offer great compositional, structural, and electronic tunability, with previous studies showing compositional substitution can increase the OER activity drastically. However, the relationship between the tailored bulk composition and that of the surface, where OER occurs, remains unclear. Here, we study the effects of electrochemical cycling on the OER activity of La 0.5 Sr 0.5 Ni 1-x Fe x O 3-δ (x = 0-0.5) epitaxial films grown by oxide molecular beam epitaxy as a model Sr-containing perovskite oxide. Electrochemical testing and surface-sensitive spectroscopic analyses show Ni segregation, which is affected by electrochemical history, along with surface amorphization, coupled with changes in OER activity. Our findings highlight the importance of surface composition and electrochemical cycling conditions in understanding OER performance on mixed metal oxide catalysts, suggesting common motifs of the active surface with high surface area systems.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  4. Nanocrystalline MnFe2O4 has shown promise as a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline solutions, but the material has been sparingly studied as highly ordered thin-film catalysts. To examine the role of surface termination and Mn and Fe site occupancy, epitaxial MnFe2O4 and Fe3O4 spinel oxide films were grown on (001)- and (111)-oriented Nb:SrTiO3 perovskite substrates using molecular beam epitaxy and studied as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). High-resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) show the synthesis of pure phase materials, while scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) analysis demonstrate island-like growth of (111) surface-terminated pyramids on both (001)- and (111)-oriented substrates, consistent with the literature and attributed to the lattice mismatch between the spinel films and the perovskite substrate. Cyclic voltammograms under a N2 atmosphere revealed distinct redox features for Mn and Fe surface termination based on comparison of MnFe2O4 and Fe3O4. Under an O2 atmosphere, electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen was observed at both Mn and Fe redox features; however, a diffusion-limited current was only achieved at potentials consistent with Fe reduction. This result contrasts with that of nanocrystalline MnFe2O4 reported in the literature where the diffusion-limitedmore »current is achieved with Mn-based catalysis. This difference is attributed to a low density of Mn surface termination, as determined by the integration of current from CVs collected under N2, in addition to low conductivity through the MnFe2O4 film due to the degree of inversion. Such low densities are attributed to the synthetic method and island-like growth pattern and highlight challenges in studying ORR catalysis with single-crystal spinel materials.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 7, 2023