Overview of the MSC Fuel Cell Research

The MSC fuel cell research focuses on study of fuel cell materials and processes using quantum mechanics and force field based molecular dynamics. Fuel cells contain complex heterogeneous structures with chemical, electrochemical, and physical phenomena spanning length scales from nanoscale (e.g., electrocatalysts), to micron scale (e.g., three-phase interfacial region of reactant/electrolyte/electronic conductor), to mesoscale (e.g., membrane-electrode assembly), and macroscale (e.g., solid, fluid and gas interfaces and associated flow fields). To enable the advance in high performance fuel cells we develop an integrated multiscale model of fuel cell systems based on the application of first-principles theory validated by experiment. This model would incorporate the processes at the anode and cathode catalysts, in the electrolyte connecting them, in the interfaces between these elements, and in the fuel processing. Experimental data are obtained from relevant publications and from experimental collaborators.

Our fuel cell projects cover an area from low-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells to high-temperature solid oxide fuel cells. More information on the various fuel cell projects can be found in the projects section.