Graduate School of Engineering
Department of Materials Science

Materials and Devices for Information Technology
Energy Materials

Research Topics

The focus of our group is to develop novel functional materials and devices for realizing efficient energy conversion systems, for example using hydrogen as a energy carrier. One of the topics is to develop hydrogen production system. To promote the commercialization of stationary fuel cells, it is essential to develop hydrogen production system with high efficiency and productivity. As a novel technique, our group is doing research on hydrogen production from methane by using oxygen permeable membranes (Fig. 1). This system is believed to show higher efficiency that that of conventional system using steam gas.

Another research topics is solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Even though state-of-the-art SOFC system shows high efficiency and is underway to commercialize, it operates at around 1000°C; reduce in the operating temperature is highly demanded. For that purpose, it is necessary to develop 1) a novel ionic conductor, 2) high-performance electrodes, and 3) thin-film-type cells. In our laboratory, novel functional materials such as oxide-ion and proton conductors using nano-sized oxides, and mixed oxide-ion and electronic conductors are being developed. Thin-film-type SOFC is also being developed as shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 1:a prototype of hydrogen production module using an oxygen permeable membrane (size 6 cm x 6 cm); 500 cc-H2 can be produced.

Fig. 1:
a prototype of hydrogen production module using an oxygen permeable membrane (size 6 cm x 6 cm); 500 cc-H2 can be produced.

Fig. 2:Cross sectional SEM image of thin-film-type SOFC using a mixed oxide-ion and electronic conductor.

Fig. 2:
Cross sectional SEM image of thin-film-type SOFC using a mixed oxide-ion and electronic conductor.