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Research Highlights

Surface Modification Processes (Thermo-, Chemical- Treatment of Materials FBCVD, CVD)


Our research proved the feasibility of the fluidized bed CVD (FBCVD) process as an alternative method for the formation of cementing and diffusion coatings in order to improve wear, oxidation and corrosion resistance of metals. Treating agent powders consist of a donator, usually a powder of the metal, an alloy or a metal carbide or nitride of the coating forming metal, an activator, usually a halide or alkali metal halides, and a filler oxide, usually Al2O3, SiO2 etc.

Mixed conducting oxides YxZr1–x–yTiyO2–x/2 (YZT) and corresponding Ni/YZT cermets as anode materials in an SOFC


Cermet anodes with mixed-conducting ceramic phase are preferable materials regarding an extension of the electron transfer reaction zone for fuel gas conversion and minimisation of the nickel content of the anode to achieve a redox stable anode. Partial substitution in 8YSZ by titania is known to increase the electronic conductivity in reducing atmosphere. The physical properties of mixed-conducting oxides in the ternary system Y2O3–ZrO2–TiO2 with the general formula YxZr1–x–yTiyO2–x/2 (YZT, where 0.133\x\0.25 and 0\y\0.15) are presented and evaluated in terms of an application as anode materials in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs).

Interfacial properties of (Ag + CuO) brazes used as sealing materials in SOFC stacks


Ceramic insulation layers in combination with air braze filler metals were investigated as material compositions suitable for joining the metallic components in planar solid oxide fuel cell stacks. This paper reports on a series of wetting experiments for determination of the interfacial properties of pure Ag and Ag+CuO brazes in contact with the oxides MgO, MgAl2O4, Al2O3 and the mixture MgO+MgAl2O4, as well as with ferritic steel at 1273 K.

Alternative Raw Materials. Valorizatiom of Industrial By-Products and Development of New Materials


This research is based on the concept that by-products (wastes) should considered as potential National/European/World Resources. The main objective is the strategic research on industrial solid wastes and by-products valorization to produce new, high added value eco-friendly materials as well as the sustainable management of resources.
Valorization of metallurgical slags, red mud, boron wastes, fly ash, bottom ash etc. in:

Triode Fuel Cells


A new fuel cell design concept has been development in our Department [1] and was recently used to enhance the performance of CO poisoned PEM fuel cells operating on H2 [2]. The new design which introduces a third auxiliary electrode appears to be a promising tool for mitigating the problem of CO poisoning of the anodes of low temperature fuel cells which hampers their practical utilization.
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Electrochemical Promotion of Catalysis


Recent work on the phenomenon of electrochemical promotion of Catalysis (EPOC) or non-Faradaic Electrochemical Modification of Catalytic Activity (NEMCA effect), originally studied in our Department [1] , [2], [3], has been reviewed recently in several invited reviews discussing both recent state-of-the-art  investigations [

Ionically conducting catalyst supports


Ionically conducting catalyst supports based on ZrO2, TiO2 and CeO2 have gradually replaced the classical insulating supports based on SiO2 and Al2O3 in many large-scale catalytic processes both in industry and in environmental processes.

Complex systems for controlling drug delivery


The macromolecular engineering group of polymer Lab, taking advantage of its long experience on designing polymer-based responsive self-assemblies, has turned its attention to research activities, targeting potential applications in Biomedicine. In collaboration with Prof. Antimisiaris group of the Department of Pharmacy, they reported in Biomacromolecules a novel complex system, comprising an injectable hydrogel, entrapping liposomes as drug nanocarriers that could be used to tune sustained and controlled drug release.

Star-shaped macromolecular architectures on Langmuir Blodget monolayers


Macromolecular engineering offers numerous possibilities to design multifunctional macromolecules of controlled architecture, size and functionality. Within this context the members of the Polymer Lab have synthesized a variety of block copolymers and terpolymers, exhibiting star-shaped architectures. These kind of well-defined highly branched macromolecules have been used as molecular building blocks to create Langmuir Blodget nanostructured monolayers (see below) in a long-lasting strong collaboration with Prof. Vladimir Tsukruk’s group at the Scholl of Materials and Engineering of Georgia Institute of Technology.