TUM-Department of Physics (Team Leader: Dr. Julia Kunze)

The Physics Department of TUM is structured in three major Research Areas, which represent the main directions of modern physics in science and education (http://www.ph.tum.de/forschung/):

  • Biophysics (BIO)
  • Physics of condensed matter (KM)
  • Nuclei-, particle- and astrophysics (KTA)

42 faculty members are currently employed at the Physics Department of the TUM.

At the chair of Interfaces and Energy Conversion, different fuel cell technologies are investigated, ranging from proton exchange membrane fuel cells to direct methanol fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cells. Expertise in differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS) allows studying volatile desorption products from model surfaces and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). 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.

Since May 2009, Julia Kunze is working at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) at the Physics Department in the chair of Interfaces and Energy Conversion. She was able to join TUM as a junior fellow of the TUM Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), which is a renowned scholarship funded by the Excellence Initiative of Germany. Dr. Kunze's group is currently existing of one post doctoral fellow, five Ph.D. students and three diploma and master students. She is conducting her research independently and uses her own equipment (see Table in section 2.4).

Relevant experience:

Dr. Kunze is actively involved in studies of TiNTs film growth since 2005 (see section 1.1). TiNTs arrays with different shape and morphology (length, diameter, wall thickness, smoothness) have been produced and characterized in terms their of growth mechanisms. The knowledge gained will now be used in DECORE. A project focused on the carbo-thermal conversion of compact TiO2 films has started in October 2009, for which a basic understanding could be obtained already (see section 1.2). Noble metal catalyst particles are being deposited on these surfaces by aerosol assisted deposition (AAD) and electrochemistry (EC). Both AOR and ORR are being investigated for these systems.

 Role in the project and main tasks:

The focus of Dr. Kunze's group will be on the preparation and characterization of TiOxCy converted flat films, TiNTs and powders. The group will do electrochemistry (EC) and in-situ scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) measurements on these systems to determine conductivity, stability and activity towards the EOR. A new flow cell set-up will be installed and connected to a differential electrochemical mass spectrometer (DEMS) to investigate the mechanism of the EOR under different conditions and with varying systems.

 Key persons:

Dr. Julia Kunze has numerous productive national and international collaborations. Her scientific work is published in 43 scientific papers and has been presented at international and national conferences on a regular basis. Her scientific research is currently devoted to materials production and characterization for fuel cell and lithium (Li) ion battery applications. In particular, she is investigating reduced valve metal oxides to be used as catalyst support materials and as anodes in Li ion batteries. Her group combines material science and physical chemistry with focus on the investigation of the solid-liquid interface for a basic understanding of important processes in electrocatalysis and in batteries.

Celine Rüdiger (Ph.D. candidate) is responsible for the currently running project focused on the carbo-thermal conversion of compact TiO2 films that has started in October 2009.

One postdoc (full) and 1 Ph.D. (3/4) position over three years will be charged to the DECORE project.