Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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Forschung AK Bron

Our field of research is the development, characterisation and testing of novel materials and processes for renewable energies. While initially working mainly on catalysts for fuel cells, our activities more and more expand into other fields of electrochemical energy conversion like photoelectrocatalysis and photocatalysis as well as into energy storage. Currently we focus on micro- and nanostructured materials like (aligned) carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers branched with carbon nanotubes, mesoporous oxides etc.. These may be modified with (photo)electro­catalytically active materials by a variety of techniques, including electropoly­merisation, electro­deposition and CVD. The resulting materials may be applied in many electrochemical devices where high-surface-area electrodes with exactly defined physical and chemical properties are needed, including fuel cells and batteries.

We are usually producing lab scale quantities of our materials (i.e. several gram), which undergo in-depth characterisation with physical techniques (TEM, XPS, XRD, SEM) in co-operating groups.

Furthermore, we characterise our materials with electrochemical techniques, including cyclic voltammetry, rotating disk electrode, and impedance measurements. A driving force of our research is the ambition to transfer basic knowledge into application. To achieve this, we establish structure-activity-relationships of our materials and derive suggestions for improved material synthesis. Furthermore, we aim at characterising our materials under in situ-conditions, i.e. we take a close look at the material while it is working using microelectrochemical techniques and in situ-X-ray absorption spectroscopy. With these studies, we try to enhance the knowledge on processes occurring in these materials during the various states of operation and to learn about ageing, stability, corrosion etc.

Equipment:

Electrochemical workstation (RDE, Impedance, physical electrochemistry)

Potentiostats

Impedance setup

Fuel cell test station for in situ-XAS-measurements

X-ray diffractometer

CVD-setups for CNT synthesis

Basic lab equipment

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