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 basic aspects of mass and charge transport properties of electroactive materials – ionic and mixed ionic-electronic conducting materials, especially oxides – with respect to defect chemistry including the grain boundary properties. Special attention is paid to the oxygen surface exchange process between gas phase and 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) and interfacially controlled electroceramic materials.
Know-how was gained within a number of regional, national and European research projects in the field of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Presently, the long-term stability and life-time improvement of SOFC-cathodes (oxygen exchange properties) and electrolytes (bulk and grain boundary properties) under real cell operating conditions are goals of the research in the field of SOFCs (including mobile applications) in cooperation with AVL List GmbH Graz, PLANSEE SE Reutte, Research Center Juelich (FZJ), and Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and  Systems (IKTS), Dresden. Moreover, additional projects concentrate on interfacially controlled electroceramic materials in cooperation with EPCOS OHG, Deutschlandsberg.
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), scanning electron microscopy with EDX-detector, equipment for the mechanical machining of samples, chemical laboratories for synthesis, access to XRD (including high-temperature XRD) and 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.