Chair of Inorganic Chemistry
Fields of research
Since 1990-s in the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry the investigations of processes of electrochemical synthesis of polypyrrole (PPy) thin films are going on. Polypyrrole, one of the most important conducting polymers, has been deposited on noble metal electrodes and their properties have been comprehensively studied. In the last period the main problems of study are connected with the influence of the synthesis conditions to the properties of the electrochemically synthesized polypyrrole films, first of all, to the mobility of different dopant anions in the polymer, and to their interaction with polymer chains, composing during the synthesis process. Also the first steps of the nucleation and following growth of the polymer film, as well as the adsorption-desorption processes on the electrodes are in interest. Different methods are involved in the studies: the electrochemical properties are investigated by cyclic voltammetry, the chemical composition of the films is determined by electron beam microanalysis and photoelectron spectroscopy, the surface morphology is characterized by AFM and SEM, and the interactions between pyrrole oligomers and doping anions are modeled with quantum chemical methods. In-situ scanning probe microscopy methods have been introduced and developed for studying of the polymer chain formation and growth during the synthesis process. In the studies all the scientific staff of the Chair is involved. Also collaboration with other groups of the home institute and of the Institute of Physics is thankfully acknowledged.
Second field of investigations in the Chair is connected with the electrochemical reactions of hydrogen on different faces of nickel monocrystal. In the last years mainly the kinetics of the cathodic hydrogen evolution on the electrode faces is investigated. In the studies are mainly involved prof. J. Tamm and J. Arold, and they are tightly collaborating with the Chair of Physical Chemistry to find new application possibilities in the field of hydrogen energetics.
In the last years the Chair is dealing also with the investigations of reactions on solid surfaces in gas environment, with studies and development of thin metal oxide films deposition technology on different substrates, mainly using atomic layer deposition method, and with development and using of different spectroscopic and microscopic methods for characterization of the surfaces and of the thin and ultrathin films. The studies are carried through under leadership of prof. V. Sammelselg in tight collaboration with the Laboratories of Thin Film Technology and X-ray Spectroscopy of the Institute of Physics.
The Chair is strongly involved into teaching of students of the speciality of chemistry, material science, geology, medicine, and teachers of chemistry and natural sciences. The curriculum consists of different level courses, seminars and practical training for all the levels of the university studies, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral’s. More precisely, the Chair gives courses in: General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Solid State Chemistry, Properties of Solid Surfaces, Physical Methods of Investigation in Chemistry, Experimental Methods in Materials Science, Surface Microscopy and Analysis, Practical Scanning Probe Microscopy, Electroactive Polymers, History of Chemistry, School Chemistry etc. The working language is usually Estonian.
In the Chair the students get overall help for carrying through their scientific studies and projects in all study levels, and in the finding of appropriate laboratories for carrying through their industrial practical works.