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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2009 Jul;9(7):4388-91.

First principle study of hydrogenation of MgB2: an important step toward reversible hydrogen storage in the coupled LiBH4/MgH2 system.

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  • 1Centre for Computational Molecular Science, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, QLD 4072, Australia.


Recent experiments [F. E. Pinkerton, M. S. Meyer, G. P. Meisner, M. P. Balogh, and J. J. Vajo, J. Phys. Chem. C 111, 12881 (2007) and J. J. Vajo and G. L. Olson, Scripta Mater. 56, 829 (2007)] demonstrated that the recycling of hydrogen in the coupled LiBH4/MgH2 system is fully reversible. The rehydrogenation of MgB2 is an important step toward the reversibility. By using ab initio density functional theory calculations, we found that the activation barrier for the dissociation of H2 are 0.49 and 0.58 eV for the B and Mg-terminated MgB2(0001) surface, respectively. This implies that the dissociation kinetics of H2 on a MgB2(0001) surface should be greatly improved compared to that in pure Mg materials. Additionally, the diffusion of dissociated H atom on the Mg-terminated MgB2(0001) surface is almost barrier-less. Our results shed light on the experimentally-observed reversibility and improved kinetics for the coupled LiBH4/MgH2 system.

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