Thesis topic proposal
András Tompos
Core-shell electrocatalysts for fuel cells


Institute: University of Szeged
environmental sciences
Doctoral School of Environmental Sciences

Thesis supervisor: András Tompos
Location of studies (in Hungarian): SZTE
Abbreviation of location of studies: SZTE

Description of the research topic:

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are excellent candidates to convert hydrogen to electricity without carbon dioxide emission. Fuel cells can have decisive role in acceleration of transition between the fossil and future sustainable low carbon energy system. First considerable market must be connected to the electric mobility, as fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) can be fuelled (with hydrogen) faster and the range of distance attainable with one load exceeds that of provided by other technological solutions in electric transport.
The main focus of the proposed research is the preparation of electro catalysts with versatile composition and nanostructure and their usage in PEM fuel cell. For this purpose mixed oxide nanospheres with carbon core will be prepared, which will be loaded by small amount of platinum. The new materials are expected i) to have complex active centres comprising interfaces of mixed oxide support and Pt nanoparticles, ii) have high surface area, iii) have good electronic conductivity, iv) have appropriate porosity allowing fast oxygen diffusion.
Structure and physical-chemical properties of the catalysts as well as their applicability, i.e. their efficiency in production of electric energy in PEM fuel cells will be investigated. The result will reveal the correlations between structure and catalytic performance, and lead to a better understanding of the role of carbon core and of the synergistic, strong-metal-support-interaction effect between Pt and mixed oxides.

Number of students who can be accepted: 1

Deadline for application: 2021-09-01

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