Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Physics and Astronomy


Stephen FitzGerald


Hydrogen, H2, MOF, MOFs, Hydrogen storage, FTIR, DRIFTS, Infrared spectroscopy, MOF-5, MOF-74, HKUST-1, ZIF-8


In this thesis we examine the hydrogen storage properties of four different materials. Because of the global climate crisis and the growing realization that petroleum resources are limited, there has been a strong push to find alternative means of energy storage. At the forefront of this push is the hydrogen economy, the idea that hydrogen gas is a bountiful, clean, alternative means of energy storage. One step towards realizing the hydrogen economy is finding a practical means of hydrogen storage.

The conventional methods of hydrogen storage are in high-pressure gas cylinders or as a liquid. Both of these methods are impractical for energy storage purposes. The gas cylinders are very massive and so hold little hydrogen for their weight; and hydrogen only liquefies at -251.9° C (-421.4° F), which imposes impractical limitations on its use. The most promising alternative storage option is finding a material that traps a large quantity of hydrogen at room temperature and atmospheric pressure.

At the current time, there is no known material that is a practical option for hydrogen storage. In this thesis we use infrared spectroscopy to investigate the behavior of the hydrogen inside the material and the interaction between the trapped hydrogen and the material . By refining our understanding of this interaction, we can predict what might make good storage materials. Currently, theoretical models are unable to predict energies that are correct within 25%. We successfully explain the observed behavior of the trapped hydrogen in the four materials. Our investigation also provides a wealth of data that can be used to calibrate theoretical models. These results will help guide us towards new materials that have greater potential to be viable storage alternatives.

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