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Physicochemical Fuel Cell Laboratory


In the “Physicochemical Fuel Cell Laboratory" the fundamental structure-activity relationships of complex processes in electrochemical energy converters are investigated in order to demonstrate ways to improving them. The main focus is on the physico-chemical properties and the electrochemical behavior of components and model cells (electrodes, electrolyte membranes). Research topics are in the field of ionic transport in the bulk and across interfaces of (non-aqueous) liquid and solid electrolytes and their electrochemical (ORR/HER) kinetics.
In addition to electrochemical analysis methods, various in-situ and ex-situ techniques such as imaging methods, vibration spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry as well as thermochemical and mechanical analysis methods are used. The aim is to elucidate fundamental microscopic mechanisms of the electrode redox kinetics and of the ion transport processes in the electrolyte membranes as a basis for future improvements of fuel cell systems.


Non-aqueous electrolytes for fuel cells > 100 °C

Untersuchung der Wasser- und Phosphorsäureaufnahme von PBI-Membranen

Investigation of water and phosphoric acid uptake of PBI membranes
• Model for the adsorption process / adsorption isotherm
• Raman spectroscopy of intermolecular interactions


Ionische Flüssigkeiten

Ionic liquids as electrolytes for HT-PEFCs
• Preparation of proton conducting ionic liquids (PIL)
• Stability and bulk properties of PIL and PIL-doped, ionogenic polymer membranes
• Oxygen reduction kinetics and double layer capacitance in the interface platinum/PIL
• Doping of ionogenic polymer membranes with PIL


Fundamental processes in Li batteries


High-voltage cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries
• Preparation of cathodes and anodes
• Ex-situ and in-operando measurements
• Elucidation of structural changes
• Investigation of the surface layer formation on the cathode



Transport processes at phase boundaries between liquid and solid electrolytes
• Li+-transfer between solid and liquid Li+-electrolytes
• Use of „hybrid electrolyte systems“: solid/liquid and organic/aqueous
• Clarification of the charge transfer kinetics
• Optimized Li-air, metal-air und Li-S-battery systems


Fundamental processes in SOFCs


Solid-state reactions under the influence of (external) electric fields
• Morphology of the moving phase boundaries
• Local transport along grain boundaries
• Accelerated degradation due to external electric fields

(Fast) ion transport in solid/solid phase boundaries

(Fast) ion transport in solid/solid phase boundaries
• Ionic transport in solid electrolyte/insulator multilayers
• Influence of interface strain on local ionic transport
• Microstructured (layered) ionic conductors with optimised properties

Methods and equipment

• Electrochemical analysis methods: EIS (impedance spectroscopy), CV and DC conductivity, chronoamperometry; RDE, HM-RDE and microelectrodes; temperature controlled battery cycling

• Imaging techniques: SEM / EDX, light microscopy and sample preparation

• Vibrational Spectroscopy: Raman und FT-IR

• X-ray diffraction

• Thermochemical and mechanical methods: TGA, DSC, elasticity / strain measurements, BET, porosimetry, density and contact angle measurements

• Electrode preparation: Glovebox, Doctor Blade technique

Team Physicochemical Fuel Cell Laboratory


From left to right: Carsten Korte, Yanpeng Suo, Marco Schleutker, Philipp Jehnichen,
Jürgen Giffin, Katja Klafki, Andreas Everwand, Klaus Wippermann

Additional Information


Head of Department

Dr. Carsten Korte
Phone: +49 2461 61-9035
Fax: +49 2461 61-6695

> more Dr. Carsten Korte