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Ultrahigh-resolution investigation of water transport in alkaline fuel and electrolysis cells by neutron radiography and neutro tomographie (NeutroSense)


Project description

The aim of this project is the development of an ultrahigh-resolution and highly sensitive detector system at the ANTARES neutron radiography facility at FRM II. The setup is used for the first in-depth study of the water balance in the anion exchange membrane of fuel and electrolysis cells. NeutroSense combines the development of single neutral neutron formation, which was done in a predecessor project (NeuRoFast (05K2016)) with a novel detector concept based on a high numerical aperture optical microscope to achieve an unprecedented resolution of 1 μm. At the same time, this instrument will benefit from the fact that ANTARES has the world's highest neutron flux, which is a prerequisite for ultra-high-resolution imaging. The detector, developed in NeutroSense, will provide a world-class combination of ultra-high spatial resolution and time resolution, allowing dynamic processes in the anion exchange membrane (AEM) of fuel and electrolysis cells at novel length and time scales. In addition, the cold neutron beam at the ANTARES will provide the highest sensitivity for smallest amounts of water below the 10 μm scale. The high sensitivity and resolution developed in this project allows for the first time to study phenomena within the membrane-electrode assembly in AEM fuel cells. Based on the results of the imaging studies, improved models for water dynamics in AEM fuel cells can be developed. Another goal of the project is to further establish ANTARES as a beamline for experiments on electrochemical energy converters such as electrolysis and fuel cells.

Start/End of project

01.07.2019 until 30.06.2022

Project manager

Dr. Matthias Breitwieser (Prof. Dr. Roland Zengerle)

Contact person

Dr. Matthias Breitwieser
Phone:+49 761 203-54063


Dr. Michael Schulz, Physik Department E21 & FRM II, Technische Universität München (TUM)




Neutronenradiographie, Brennstoffzelle, Elektrolysezelle, AEMFC, AEMEL, fuel cell, electrolysis cell, neutron radiography
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