New fuel cell catalyst materials with nanostructured model electrodes
Research Project, 2019 – 2022

Low temperature fuel cells are promising candidates for energy conversion in a future sustainable energy system because of their high efficiency and potential for zero-emissions. In order to become a viable option on a large scale, there are several issues related to the catalyst materials that need to be improved. For the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) which is the dominating fuel cell type today, there is a need to reduce the amount of platinum (Pt) catalyst used on the cathode side. For the new and promising alkaline membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) there is a need to develop new and improved catalysts for both anode and cathode side.This project will employ nanostructured model electrodes as a platform for developing and evaluating new catalyst materials for both PEMFC and AEMFC. Model electrodes will be prepared by physical deposition in vacuum, such as evaporation and sputtering. This model electrode approach is versatile in that virtually any material can be deposited while keeping the material structure constant. A main advantage with this approach is that the catalyst material can be measured and evaluated under real fuel cell conditions, something that is not possible with conventional techniques. The proposed project will develop and study the very promising group of Pt-rare earth metal alloys for use as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts in PEMFC and Pt-free catalysts for the ORR and hydrogen oxidation reaction in AEMFC.


Björn Wickman (contact)

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics


Swedish Research Council (VR)

Project ID: 2018-03927
Funding Chalmers participation during 2019–2022


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