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Optimization of support materials 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, characterization and optimization of support materials for the OER catalyst in a PEM electrolyzer.

Project description

During the thesis, support materials for OER catalysts will be synthesized, optimized and characterized physically as well as electrochemically.
A support material synthesis already known at the institute will be modified in a first step to influence the porosity of the material. Different structuring options will be investigated and in the following step Ir nanoparticles will be deposited on the support material in 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 execution of the carrier material synthesis with different structure-giving approaches
  • Preparation and execution of catalyst synthesis
  • Preparation and evaluation of various electrochemical measurements of the materials using the rotating disk electrode
  • Preparation and execution of 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!