Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Harlan E Schone


This research deals with one aspect of the scientific field of hydrogen in metals. The study of hydrogen in metals is technologically important for many reasons, among them is the use of hydrogen in metals to store energy. Hydrogen related energy technology is particularly attractive because hydrogen can be extracted from water, our most abundant resource, and can be used without any pollution. Metal hydrides may one day be widely used for automotive propulsion in cars, in batteries, and many other energy conversion devices. Amorphous NiZr is particularly interesting for hydrogen storage because high concentrations of hydrogen can be sorbed and desorbed repeatedly with only small deleterious effects to the metal.;The motion of hydrogen and deuterium in amorphous nickel zirconium alloys (a-NiZr) has been studied and some properties of the local atomic structure in this amorphous metal have been deduced. This has been accomplished with nuclear magnetic resonance experiments measuring the spin lattice relaxation rate R{dollar}\sb1{dollar} as a function of temperature and resonance frequency. Hydrogen can diffuse into and then through metals by hopping among interstitial positions. In a-NiZr the interstitial hydrogen positions are the centers of tetrahedra, with metal ions at the corners of the tetrahedra. Diffusive hydrogen motion occurs via classical over the barrier jumps, with a Gaussian distribution of activation energies for diffusion. The existence of a distribution of activation energies for diffusion is evidence supporting the densely packed random sphere model for the atomic structure of amorphous metals. The low temperature R{dollar}\sb1{dollar} data is anomalous. Precipitation of Ni clusters out of the a-NiZr lattice may be occurring and causing unexpected spin lattice relaxation.



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