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Physical chemistry and electrochemistry
Despite huge improvements in the past decade, advances in the performance and durability of PEMFC are still necessary for them to compete with existing technologies. The proton conducting ionomer, contained in the electrodes of PEMFC, is conjectured to be one of the major causes in performance losses. Few studies have been carried out on this ionomer within the electrodes because of the difficulty in characterizing its distribution and properties. Thus, the degradation mechanisms of the ionomer during operation, highly dependent on water content, are still largely hypothetical but believed to lead to modifications of its distribution, chemical and physical structure, transport properties and its contamination by cations. In this PhD, we wish to elucidate the mechanisms by coupling electrochemical and microstructural characterizations with in-situ and operando experiments using Neutrons (ILL) and X-Ray probes (ESRF, SOLEIL), furthermore including accelerated aging tests to simultaneously correlate performance degradation and local modifications of the materials. Specifically, the structure of the ionomer will be investigated by SANS and the water content in the electrodes using neutron radiography. As a result of these investigations we also aim at improving durability of PEMFC by tuning the composition of the electrodes or proposing more appropriate operating strategies as two kinds of mitigation pathways which will be validated towards selected ageing protocols. Achieving these goals is essential for the widespread adoption of PEMFC in clean transportation systems.
Département de l’Electricité et de l’Hydrogène pour les Transports (LITEN)
Laboratoire Analyse électrochimique et Post mortem
CEA Grenoble17 rue des martyrs38054 Grenoble Cedex 9
Phone number: +33438789406
IMEP2: Ingénierie - Matériaux - Environnement - Energétique - Procédés - Production
Start date on 01-10-2019
CEA/Grenoble17 rue des Martyrs38054 Grenoble Cedex 9
Phone number: 0438785986
« The age limit is 26 years for PhD offers and 30 years old for post-doc offers. »