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Institute of Energy and Climate Research

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Physicochemical Laboratory


The department investigates fundamental physico-chemical and electrochemical issues in the field of polymer fuel cells, proton-conducting, non-aqueous electrolytes, electrode and electrolyte materials for Li battery applications and ceramic solid oxide cells. In addition to electrode redox kinetics and ionic bulk transport, the focus is also on ion transfer kinetics across interfaces between various electrolytes and on conduction processes along these. The basic structure/action relationships of complex processes are analyzed to contribute new functional materials for improving electrochemical transducers and storage.


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