Electrochemistry research in energy conversion and storage – from fundamentals to nanotechnology applications
Dr. Julia Kunze-Liebhäuser was a Carl von Linde Junior Fellow at the TUM Institute for Advanced Study. Our research focuses on interface science, where we investigated the properties of two adjacent condensed phases. Such properties are important in materials science, energy conversion and storage, catalysis and electrocatalysis, and for medical applications. In all these areas, nanostructures play a crucial role. We fabricate nanostructured surfaces and characterize them in terms of their catalytic activity and their use in the respective applications. Prof. Ulrich Stimming’s group has found that the variation of the physical parameters for a given catalyst system had more influence on the catalytic activity than the variation of the chemical composition. This new bottom-up approach, relying on a separation of the physical parameters, is used to study innovative and promising catalyst systems. We employ scanning probe microscopy, electrochemical techniques, and surface analysis tools such as X-ray induced photoelectron and infrared spectroscopy for detailed investigations of the systems. Especially scanning electrochemical potential microscopy (SECPM), which is a powerful scanning probe technique, is applied. This technique images the potential distribution of large organic molecules with nanometer- scale resolution and can provide information on the local pH. Currently my group is investigating three specific topics:
Novel material systems for electrocatalysis We use electronically conducting titanium oxycarbide (TiOxCy) as support material for catalyst nanoparticles. For application in medium-temperature fuel cells, where commonly used carbon-supports are unstable, nano-structured electrically conductive valve-metal oxide supports are being developed.
Study of biological molecules for electrocatalysis This project deals with the investigation of the local reactivity of redox enzymes, immobilized on nanostructured model surfaces.
Self-assembled anodic titania nanotubes - fundamentals and application as anode material for rechargeable Lithium batteries Nanotubular highly porous titanium oxycarbide structures are explored for their applicability as high-stability high-voltage negative electrode materials in stationary applications.
TUM-IAS funded doctoral candidates: Norbert Kluy (PhD in 2015), Interfaces and Energy Conversion Celine Rüdiger (PhD in 2018), Interfaces and Energy Conversion Christoph Traunsteiner (PhD in 2016), Interfaces and Energy Conversion