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Synthesis and optimization of OER catalysts for PEM electrolysis

Level of work

Thesis work for Bachelor, Master or Diploma


In order to increase the flexibility of renewable energies and improve their integration into existing energy networks, efficient intermediate storage is necessary. Hydrogen as the energy carrier of the future has a high potential. It is produced in high purity in a water electrolysis cell. Precious metal-free catalysts are of particular interest for an economic use of this technology.

This thesis is about the synthesis and characterization of supported OER catalyst in a PEM electrolyzer.

Project description

During the thesis, supported catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction with different loadings will be synthesized, optimized and characterized physically, as well as electrochemically.

In a first step, the support material will be synthesized by means of a wet chemical nanoparticle synthesis already known at the institute. In the following step, Ir nanoparticles will be deposited on the support material in different loadings by a hydrothermal synthesis. Physical characterization is to be carried out by e.g. XRD and BET surface area determination. For the electrochemical characterization, measurements on the rotating disk electrode as well as single cell measurements will be performed. In particular, the stability under continuous load on a potential is to be investigated.


  • Preparation and implementation of the catalyst synthesis with 5 different loadings
  • Preparation and evaluation of various electrochemical measurements of the materials using the rotating disk electrode
  • Preparation of the CCM for single cell tests by means of spray coating
  • Carrying out various electrochemical measurements of the materials in the single cell
  • Data evaluation:
  • Analysis of data with regard to important characteristics like current-voltage behavior, bifunctionality and stability


  • Student of chemistry, chemical engineering, material science or comparable
  • Laboratory experience, especially wet chemical procedures
  • Basic electrochemical knowledge
  • Good language skills in German or English
  • High level of motivation
  • High level of independence
  • Creativity as well as team working and communication skills

Starting date

as of now

  • The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft attaches great importance to professional equality regardless of gender. We look forward to receiving your application!