The following project is now available with the CDT.

In operando analysis of the electrochemical processes governing solid oxide fuel cell electrode degradation.

EPSRC CDT with industry partner, fully funded for 4 years starting October 2014

Oxide based electrochemical cells, such as fuel cells, used for clean energy conversion consist of multiple components, all of which operate at elevated temperatures (>500 oC). Each cell in a stack is expected to operate for periods in excess of 40,000hrs. Electrochemical cells unfortunately suffer from degradation processes that limit both performance and lifetime, and include interfacial reactions, electrical polarisation, and sintering. To fully understand these processes we will use environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (e-SEM) to investigate the behaviour of the electrodes under operating conditions, developing capability in applying electrical load, temperature and gas atmosphere to cells. In addition we will use our unique plasma FIB-SIMS instrument to probe diffusion at the microstructural scale, and correlate these measurements with the operando e-SEM data. We will investigate both fresh and aged samples, in partnership with our industry colleagues, and this will provide detailed models of the mechanisms driving degradation, allowing improved devices to be developed.

You will join the Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials, where you will receive structured training in a number of key characterisation techniques, as part of a cohort of students.

Closing date: 31st July 2017.

To apply for this position please click here for our application process.