Nanoscale imaging of the cathode electrodes used in PEM fuel cells


Supervisors: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes 

Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are a promising clean power conversion technology as they are efficient and can operate at low temperatures. Therefore, they can be used in a wide range of portable, automotive and stationary applications. The cathode electrode is the main source of performance loss in PEM fuel cells and this is due to low utilisation of the catalyst and the slow reaction rate.

The main objective of this project is nanoscale image the normally-used cathode electrodes using X-ray computed tomography and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM). These images will be used to obtain insights on how to improve the performance of the cathode electrodes through, for example, performing pore-scale simulations and extracting effective morphological parameters.

For further information contact Professor Derek B Ingham (

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