Enabling fuel cells for zero-emission cars through improved oxygen reduction catalysis




Greater Copenhagen area

The aim of this project is to fabricate and test Pt-alloys thin films as electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction.

Due to environmental concerns, and the escalating demand for energy, our future will rely heavily on the development of efficient sustainable energy sources. Fuel cells are in this sense a clean and efficient alternative to fossil fuels. The main issue preventing the commercialization of fuel cells is that a significant amount of expensive and scarce platinum is needed to catalyze the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), occurring at the fuel cell cathode. One of the solutions to overcome the problem is to increase the ORR activity (i.e. current density) of the Pt catalysts by at least one order of magnitude, by alloying platinum with other metals.Fabricating and testing those alloys is one of the main focuses of DTU physics, and In particular, Pt-lanthanides alloys are very promising as fuel cell cathode electrocatalysts. in this project students will have the chance to see first-hand how the fabrication and testing is carried on, and what are the challenges and problems to be overcome in order to achieve active and stable ORR catalysts.

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Company / Organization

DTU Fysik


Ib Chorkendorff




Supervisor info

MSc in Physics and Nanotechnology


Ib Chorkendorff


MSc thesis, Special course

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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Anker Engelunds Vej 1
Bygning 101A
2800 Kgs. Lyngby


Tlf. (+45) 45 25 25 25

CVR-nr. 30 06 09 46

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