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TU Delft identifies huge potential of nanocrystals in fuel cells
Date:3/28/2011

latter material 'delivers' the protons to the crystals. "The addition of the crystals appears to cause an enormous leap in the conductive capacity, up to a factor of 100," concludes Haverkate.

Similarity

This remarkable achievement by TU Delft has already led to two publications in the scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials. Last December, Haverkate published an article on the theory behind the results. His fellow PhD student, Wing Kee Chan, is the main author of a second item that appeared in the same publication this week.

Chan focused on the experimental side of the research. "The nice thing about these two publications is that the experimental results and the theoretical underpinning strongly complement each other," says Haverkate.

Neutrons

Chan carried out measurements on the electrolyte material using the neutron diffraction method. This involves sending neutrons through the material. The way in which the neutrons are dispersed makes it possible to deduce certain characteristics of the material, such as the density of protons in the crystals. Haverkate: "It is the first time that measurements have been taken of solid-material electrolytes in this way, and on such a small scale. The fact that we had nuclear research technologies at the Reactor Institute Delft at our disposal was tremendously valuable."

Temperature

However, the combination of TiO2 and CsHSO4 does not mark the end of the search for a suitable solid-material electrolyte. Other material combinations will be tested that may achieve better scores in the area of stability, for example. Professor Fokko Mulder, who is Haverkate's and Chan's PhD supervisor, says. "At this stage, we are more concerned about acquiring a fundamental understanding and a useful model, than the concrete issue of finding out what the most suitable material is. It is important that we identify the effect of nanocrystals, and give it a theoretical
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Contact: Ineke Boneschansker
i.boneschansker@tudelft.nl
31-015-278-8499
Delft University of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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