The efficient utilization of renewable energy requires advanced concepts for energy storage and conversion as well as the introduction of new vehicle concepts (electromobility). This requires the development of efficient hydrogen generation (electrolysis), hydrogen conversion (fuel cells), and energy storage (batteries). For the large-scale implementation of these technologies, the noble-metal (e.g., Pt) requirement in fuel cells and electrolyzers must be reduced via novel catalysts and the specific energy of batteries must be increased. In addition, higher durability of catalysts and electrode/electrolyte interfaces must be achieved.
Therefore, our group works on the synthesis of novel electrocatalysts and their incorporation into high-performance fuel cell, electrolyzer, and battery electrodes. We will apply spectroscopic and analytic methods to study the relevant catalytic process and to elucidate materials degradation processes. Our focus ranges from simple model systems to more complex high-surface area materials and electrode structures.
We are working in close collaboration with faculty in engineering, where our fundamental learnings will aid the design of battery and fuel cell systems which can be incorporated into, for example, electrified vehicles.