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Reference Number EP/R002010/1
Title Understanding the critical role of interfaces and surfaces in energy materials
Status Started
Energy Categories RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 10%;
HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS(Fuel Cells, Stationary applications) 20%;
HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS(Fuel Cells, Mobile applications) 20%;
HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS(Fuel Cells, Other applications) 5%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 25%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 75%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Other 100%
Principal Investigator Dr SJ Skinner
No email address given
Imperial College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2017
End Date 30 September 2022
Duration 60 months
Total Grant Value £1,304,889
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region London
Programme NC : Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr SJ Skinner , Materials, Imperial College London (99.996%)
  Other Investigator Dr J Lischner , Department of Physics (the Blackett Laboratory), Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr M Ryan , Materials, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr DJ Payne , Materials, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr A Aguadero , Materials, Imperial College London (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Ceres Power Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry of Bordeaux (ICMCB/CNRS), France (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract 'Energy materials' encompass a wide range of technologies, ranging from thermoelectrics to fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics and magnetocalorics, among others. Many of these energy materials are developed as multi-component solid state devices and these devices inherently possess a number of electrochemically active interfaces. It is these interfaces, e.g. solid/solid, liquid/solid or gas/solid, that control the function of the device, and are typically the source of degradation. Many current techniques used to analyse these devices and their components rely on idealised systems in high vacuum environments to gain information on the near surface chemistry. This necessitates the use of post-mortem operation analysis and clearly represents a significant mismatch from the conditions under which devices operate. Increasingly it is acknowledged that in-operando measurements are required, but that the measurements are themselves difficult and demanding. It is our intention to develop expertise with in-operando characterisation of energy materials. This will build on our existing expertise and capability in surface analysis and in-situ measurements. As an example, a fuel cell operating at 823K will be subjected to temperature gradients, cation segregation, potential gradients, poisoning and chemical changes induced by these conditions, all of which are inter-related, but separating the individual contributions has so far proved impossible. Similar issues involving the interface and surface chemistry of solid state batteries, permeation membranes and co-electrolysers will also be addressed using these techniques. By developing in-operando correlative characterisation we aim to deconvolute these processes and provide detailed mechanistic understating of the critical processes in a range of energy systems
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 15/03/19