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Reference number: D160/2018, Energy science, Mechanical Engineering, Material Science, Chemistry

Master thesis: Synthesis of novel high performance cathode materials for a new low-cost solid oxide fuel cell concept

At Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-1: Materials Synthesis and Processing materials for climate-friendly technical solutions are being developed. The so-called Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is a promising candidate in the field of renewable energies. However this technology suffers from high manufacturing costs, thus alternative low-cost ceramic-materials are sought.

In an SOFC concept under development, the manufacturing costs are reduced by using a simplified manufacturing route and a low-cost ceramic support material. This low-cost manufacturing route leads to the formation of foreign phases which have a certain impact upon the performance. Therefore the goal of this thesis work is to synthesize a given single-phase alternative cathode material which is not so prone to react with the low-cost support material and to characterize its electrochemical performance. These entire steps will be performed in the lab by using different techniques like screen-printing, scanning-electron-microscope, X-ray diffraction and sintering.

Techniques to be applied:

  • Pechini Method: synthesis of a single-phase La-Ni-Cathode (Validation with XRD)
  • Three-Roll-Milling: processing of the cathode to obtain a screen print able ink
  • Cell fabrication: screen-printing
  • Electrochemical performance: impedance measurement
  • Cross section: scanning electron microscope
  • EDX: visualize the elemental distribution

Understanding how the electrochemical performance of the cathode is influenced by the low-cost ceramic support is sought.

Qualifications: Studies in Energy science, Mechanical Engineering, Material Science, Chemistry or similar.

Employment: 6 Months in a Student Assistant position

Fabian Grimm
IEK-1, Forschungszentrum Jülich