Montanuniversität Leoben

Department General, Analytical and Physical Chemistry
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Werner Sitte
Franz-Josef-Straße 18
8700 Leoben
+43 (0)3842 402-4800
+43 (0)3842 402-4802

Research activities at the Chair of Physical Chemistry of Montanuniversität Leoben concentrate on mass and charge transport properties of electroactive materials – ionic and mixed ionic-electronic conducting materials, especially oxides – with respect to defect chemistry including grain boundary properties. Special attention is paid to the oxygen surface exchange process between the gas phase and the oxide ceramics. Emphasis is put on basic problems as well as on aspects of application like cathodes/anodes and electrolytes for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs)/solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) for energy conversion and storage.

Know-how was gained within a number of regional, national and European research projects in the field of solid oxide cells including mobile applications. Presently, the long-term stability of SOFC-cathodes/SOEC-anodes and electrolytes under real cell operating conditions are goals of the research in cooperation with AVL List GmbH Graz, Research Center Jülich (FZJ), Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), Dresden, Graz University of Technology, University of Innsbruck, and Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart.

Infrastructure includes equipment for characterization of ionic and mixed ionic-electronic conducting materials, primarily oxides: set-ups for conductivity and conductivity relaxation measurements, impedance spectroscopy, thermal analysis (precision thermogravimetry with mass spectrometry, differential scanning calorimetry, dilatometry), XRD (including high-temperature XRD), scanning electron microscopy with EDX-detector, equipment for the mechanical machining of samples, laboratories for chemical synthesis of the materials, and access to analytical methods (RFA, ICP-MS, AAS).

Teaching is focused on lectures and laboratory courses in physical chemistry and electrochemistry e.g. electrochemical energy conversion and storage.