November 25, 2009
Title: Continuum models for nano-scale phenomena in polymer electrolyte membranes
Abstract: In this talk, we will explore continuum modelling approaches to investigate charge and mass transport in nano-pores of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM), and the limits to their applicability. In particular, we will address whether proton-water complexes and proton-wall, proton-proton interactions can be modelled accurately in this context. Our focus will be on Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations, coupled to Navier-Stokes equations, which entail system parameters and boundary conditions that need to be chosen carefully. The applicability of such models would be of great advantage when considering PEM pore network models and their use in computing average (i.e. macroscopic) membrane properties such as conductivity or water drag. Their computational complexity is much lower than those of discrete models such as Brownian dynamics or (ab initio) molecular dynamics.
Disciplines: Mathematics, Physics