Published on Monday June 20, 2011
Assistant professor Steven May has been awarded a grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for the project "Synthesis and Structure of Layered Perovskite-Zirconia Thin Film Interfaces: Model Systems for Fuel Cell Studies." The budget for the two-year project is $100,000.
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are promising systems for energy conversion due to their high efficiency and resulting low output of pollutants in converting a wide range of fuels into electricity. Despite the potential of this technology for efficient energy conversion, a number of materials-related issues, such as unwanted reactions between the cathode and electrolyte, remain as impediments to the greater implementation of SOFCs.
The project focuses on the synthesis of atomically abrupt cathode/electrolyte interfaces, which will act as model systems in the study of interfacial reactions in SOFCs. By studying these idealized systems, May's group aims to gain insight into how the performance and stability of SOFCs can be improved.