Technische Universität München

The Technische Universität München is one of the leading technical universities in Germany with currently more than 32000 students and almost 10.000 employees. The research work performed in CathCat builds on vast prior research experience gained at the Chair of Technical Physics E19 (Prof. Stimming) in the TUM physics department. For successful carrying out the research there is a strong cooperation between this Chair, the Chair of Robotics and Embedded Systems (Prof. Knoll) in the Department of Informatics, and the Chair of Physical Chemistry (Prof. Heiz).

In the Stimming group, different fuel cell technologies are investigated, ranging from PEMFC and DEFC to direct oxidation of carbon in a SOFC setup. Expertise in differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS) allows studying volatile desorption products from model surfaces and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). This analytical technique allows for example to investigate the completeness of electrochemical oxidation of fuels like methanol or ethanol at moderate temperatures (up to 120°C). The group is also interested in the correlation between structure and activity of model catalysts for fuel cells. With electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (EC-STM) it was possible to investigate the relationship between nanoscopic structure of single particles and their individual activity. Within the group a variety of techniques can be applied to characterize electrocatalysts both at model- and at gas diffusion electrodes. Cyclic voltammetry, rotating disk and rotating ring-disc electrode setups and other standard electrochemical techniques are available. Some special set-ups, in particular an in-situ IR and a special DEMS set-up exist. STM set-ups, both for measurements in air or in liquid electrolytes in combination with electrochemical measurements are available. Also an instrument permitting SECPM measurements exists. This will allow investigating local potential gradients at nanostructured model surfaces. Furthermore, we have access to SEM and TEM. The latter technique includes a self-developed advanced image processing for a better analyzing of the particle morphology. EDX is used to investigate the composition of nanoparticles.

Dr. Oliver Schneider has experience in several areas of electrochemistry including sonoelectrochemistry, the electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance, corrosion science and electrocatalysis. He was for five semesters acting chair of E19. He is now as as project leader in charge of supporting Prof. Knoll in the project coordination of CathCat.