Nanoanalysis of Electrochemical Processes


Understanding the mechanisms that alter nanostructures during electrochemical processes is crucial to develop electrolyzer and fuel cell technology. With this knowledge it is possible to enhance efficiency, resilience, and durability of the devices. Scaling those up allows to efficiently use hydrogen technology to store renewable energy.

Research Topics

To investigate the processes related to formation and alteration of the nanostructures involved, we combine a toolbox of methods that include

  • synthesis of new catalytic materials
  • development of accelerated stress test protocols
  • characterization in half and full cell tests
  • nanostructural analysis methods via operando electron microscopy
  • electro-structural and kinetic electrochemical simulations


Dr.-Ing. Andreas Hutzler


Building HIERN-Cauerstr / Room 4009

+49 9131-12538174

Transmission Electron Microscopy Lab
H2Giga - StacIE: Stack Scale-Up: Industrialization PEM Electrolysis

StacIE aims to scale up the stack production on the level of cell components by development of industrial processes, improvement of profitability of cell design by reducing complexity and optimizing manufacturing technique of the porous transport layer (PTL) and bipolar plate (BPP). For PTL and BPP alternative materials and substrate coating methods are identified and developed further. Additionally, an increase in performance and lifetime is aimed for. Fabrication techniques for a direct coating of the catalyst layer onto the porous transport layer is developed and investigated, overcoming the challenge to optimize the structure of the PTL to the catalyst layer. Also, accelerated stress tests are developed and the degradation mechanisms unraveled. Thorough structural elucidation completes the picture.

Electronic devices based on the 2D material black phosphorus - layer-dependent properties

Two-dimensional materials show enormous potential concerning application in electronic devices because of their extraordinary properties. The utilization of materials of this kind, however, is accompanied by significant challenges as layer-dependent properties substantially determine potential device functionalities. These challenges are caused by an extensive lack of systematic studies investigating fabrication processes of electronic devices, including optimization, as well as resulting electrical functionalities considering number of layers and anisotropy. Studies of this kind are intrinsically complex and defying as non-destructive methods for determining the number of layers of 2D materials integrated in electronic devices have to be combined and tuned with layer-dependent measurements of electrical properties. Within the framework of this proposal the influence of the number of layers on device properties of electronic devices based on the 2D material black phosphorous will be distinctly determined by a methodical combination of analytical-reflectance spectroscopy and measurements of the electronic transport. For this purpose, various device architectures will be investigated with respect to their layer-dependent properties and anisotropy. These properties include both purely electronical and valleytronical aspects. The number of layers is ascertained by a custom-built optical method which exploits the properties of the spectral reflectance of the material. For varying device architectures various approaches like lateral and vertical contacting, different gate dielectrics, tunneling contacts as well as different surface passivations are utilized. As operating principle for fundamental and electrical characterization, field effect, Hall effect and valley-Hall effect are exploited. Obtained insights will contribute to a fundamental comprehension of properties of 2D materials with respect to their applicability in modern and future-based electronics.



Nanoanalysis of Electrochemical Processes
Nanoanalysis of Electrochemical Processes
Publications with contributions from our team
  • M. Minichová, C. Van Pham, B. Xiao, A. Savan, A. Hutzler, A. Körner, I. Khalakhan, M. Gamón Rodríguez, I. Mangoufis-Giasin, V. Briega-Martos, A. Kormányos, I. Katsounaros, Karl J. J. Mayrhofer, A. Ludwig, S. Thiele, S. Cherevko, Isopropanol Electro-oxidation on Pt-Ru-Ir: A Journey from Model Thin Film Libraries towards Real Electrocatalysts, Electrochimica Acta, 2023, Art. No. 142032, DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2023.142032
  • S. Ruck, A. Körner, A. Hutzler, M. Bierling, J. Gonzalez, W. Qu, C. Bock, S. Thiele, R. Peach, C. Van Pham, Carbon supported NiRu alloy nanoparticles as an effective cathodic catalyst in anion exchange membrane water electrolyzers, Journal of Physics: Energy 4 (4), 2022, Art. No. 044007, DOI: 10.1088/2515-7655/ac95cd
  • B. Fritsch, T. S. Zech, M. P. Bruns, S. Khadivianazar, N. Zargar Talebi, A. Körner, M. Wu, S. Virtanen, T. Unruh, M. P. M. Jank, E. Spiecker, A. Hutzler, Radiolysis-Driven Evolution of Gold Nanostructures - Model Verification by Scale Bridging in situ Liquid-Phase Transmission Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Diffraction, Advanced Science 9 (25), 2022, Art. No. 2202803, DOI: 10.1002/advs.202202803
  • R. Stöber, F. Mai, O. Sebastian, A. Körner, A. Hutzler, P. Schühle, A highly stable bimetallic transition metal phosphide catalyst for selective dehydrogenation of n-heptane, ChemCatChem 14, 2022, Art. No. e202200371, DOI: 10.1002/cctc.202200371
  • Y.-P. Ku, K. Ehelebe, A. Hutzler, M. Bierling, T. Böhm, A. Zitolo, M. Vorokhta, N. Bibent, F. D. Speck, D. Seeberger, I. Khalakhan, K. J. J. Mayrhofer, S. Thiele, F. Jaouen, S. Cherevko, Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Alkaline Media Causes Iron Leaching from Fe-N-C Electrocatalysts, Journal of the American Chemical Society 144 (22), 2022, pp. 9753 - 9763, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c02088
  • B. Fritsch, M. Wu, A. Hutzler, D. Zhou, R. Spruit, L. Vogl, J. Will, R. H. H. Pérez Garza, M. März, M. P. M. Jank, E. Spiecker, Sub-Kelvin thermometry for evaluating the local temperature stability within in situ TEM gas cells, Ultramicroscopy 235, 2022, Art. No. 113494, DOI: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2022.113494
  • B. Fritsch, A. Hutzler (equal contribution), M. Wu, S. Khadivianazar, L. Vogl, M. P. M. Jank, M. März, E. Spiecker, Accessing local electron-beam-induced temperature changes during in situ liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy, Nanoscale Advances 3 (9), 2021, pp. 2466 - 2474 , DOI: 10.1039/D0NA01027H
Projects in our team

Last Modified: 13.02.2023