Scanning electron microscopy of partially de-hydrogenated MgH2 powders

TitleScanning electron microscopy of partially de-hydrogenated MgH2 powders
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAntisari, M.V., Montone A., Aurora A., Mancini M.R., Mirabile Gattia Daniele, and Pilloni L.
KeywordsB. Hydrogen storage, B. Phase transformation, C. Mechanical alloying and milling, Catalysis, Catalysts, Desorption, Electron microscopes, Electrons, F. Electron microscopy, F. Metallographic techniques, Hydrides, Hydrogen, Hydrogen storage, Intermetallics, Mechanical alloying, Metallography, Metallurgy, Milling (machining), Phase transitions, Powders, Scanning, Scanning electron microscopy, Size distribution

The sorption behavior of MgH2 is the subject of numerous investigations concerning the safe hydrogen storage in metallic hydrides. With the purpose of integrating kinetic studies on the MgH2-Mg phase transformation with the analysis of the local microstructure, we have developed an experimental method for the metallographic examination by Scanning Electron Microscopy of partially desorbed MgH2 powders. The setting of the microscope and the sample preparation procedure have been optimized for highest contrast between Mg and MgH2, based on different electron emissions. In these experimental conditions the two phases can be clearly detected even in critical condition when strongly scattering catalyst particles are present. The method has been tested on a set of ball milled MgH2 samples either pure or containing Fe as catalyzing agent. A complete information on the spatial distribution of all the phases constituting the sample can be obtained by integrating observations carried out at different primary beam energies with different signals. As far as the desorption behavior is concerned, SEM analysis shows that the MgH2-Mg phase transition is strongly affected by catalyst particles which, in the present case, appear to support the nucleation step in the phase transformation sequence. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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