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Creators/Authors contains: "Mukherjee, Partha P."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 22, 2023
  2. Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEFCs) exhibit considerable performance decay with cycling owing to the degradation of platinum (Pt) catalysts, resulting in the loss of the valuable electrochemically active surface area. Catalyst inventory retention is thus a necessity for a sustained cathodic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and to ameliorate the life expectancy of PEFCs. We demonstrate a thermo-kinetic model cognizant of processes like platinum particle dissolution–reprecipitation and oxide formation coupled with an electrochemical reactive transport model to derive mechanistic insights into the deleterious phenomena at the interfacial scale. The heterogeneous nature of particle aging in a catalyst layer environment is delineated through coarsening–shrinking zones and further comprehension of instability signatures is developed from the dissolution affinity of diameter bins through a metric, onset time. The severe degradation at high temperature and under fully humidified conditions is intertwined with the local transport resistance and the critical transient, where the catalyst nanoparticles reach a limiting diameter stage. We further reveal the degradation-performance characteristics through variation in the ionomer volume fraction and the mean size of the particle distribution in the electrode. It has been found that the kinetic and transport characteristics are crucially dependent on the interplay of two modes – one leadingmore »to the depletion of the catalyst nanoparticles and the other that emanates from catalyst coarsening.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 19, 2023
  3. Solid-state batteries (SSBs) hold the potential to enhance the energy density, power density, and safety of conventional lithium-ion batteries. The theoretical promise of SSBs is predicated on the mechanistic design and comprehensive analysis of various solid–solid interfaces and microstructural features within the system. The spatial arrangement and composition of constituent phases (e.g., active material, solid electrolyte, binder) in the solid-state cathode dictate critical characteristics such as solid–solid point contacts or singularities within the microstructure and percolation pathways for ionic/electronic transport. In this work, we present a comprehensive mesoscale discourse to interrogate the underlying microstructure-coupled kinetic-transport interplay and concomitant modes of resistances that evolve during electrochemical operation of SSBs. Based on a hierarchical physics-based analysis, the mechanistic implications of solid–solid point contact distribution and intrinsic transport pathways on the kinetic heterogeneity is established. Toward designing high-energy-density SSB systems, the fundamental correlation between active material loading, electrode thickness and electrochemical response has been delineated. We examine the paradigm of carbon-binder free cathodes and identify design criteria that can facilitate enhanced performance with such electrode configurations. A mechanistic design map highlighting the dichotomy in kinetic and ionic/electronic transport limitations that manifest at various SSB cathode microstructural regimes is established.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2023
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