Our main research focus is on the preparation and characterization of nanomaterials, such as nanostructured thin films and nanoparticles. We aim especially for efficient catalysts for fuel cells and electrolyzers.

The Nanomaterials Group benefits from the expertise of its senior researchers in surface science and thin film growth. The knowledge and experience are constantly handed down to younger researchers and students, and the scope has expanded to include physical chemistry and electrochemistry.

We combine research on model catalysts in ultra-high vacuum or low gas pressures with studies on nanostructured catalysts at near-ambient pressures. The former gives us insight into reaction mechanisms, and the latter indicates suitability of the catalysts for applications. We are also in close cooperation with computational chemists to get further insights.

Our publications by year (listed on the department's website):

2019 2018 2017

Lucinda Blanco wins the Best Student Presentation Award at Hydrogen Days 2021

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Our doctoral student Lucinda Blanco Redondo presented her contribution named "Ir-decorated Pt nanoparticles for unitized regenerative fuel cell catalyst" at Hydrogen Days 2021. In her talk, she described a relatively easy procedure to prepare bimetallic nanoparticles that show remarkable catalytic activity in both oxygen reduction and oxygen…


Online CERIC workshop on research in sustainable energy

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Sustainable energy is one of the major fields of research at CERIC facilities, and it is also the topic of an upcoming workshop, SCIENCE@CERIC 2021. The workshop is focused both on advancements in research and technology for sustainable energy and on analytical methods, all of that in relation to CERIC. The workshop will be held online on ZOOM on…


Tomáš Hrbek wins in his category at a student conference


The Czech-Slovak Student Scientific Conference in Physics is an annual conference for Bachelor and Master students of physics. This year was organized by the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University and received contributions in five physics areas. Due to the current epidemic situation, the conference was held completely online. The authors of the three best contributions in each area are awarded. This year, our Master student Tomáš Hrbek has won…


Comprehensive in-situ study of a fuel cell catalyst highlighted by CERIC

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In February this year, we reported on a study of the impact of simulated operating conditions on a Pt-Ni catalyst. Now, Dr. Ivan Khalakhan and coworkers have further deepened our understanding of changes in this type of catalyst under operating conditions. The article "Evolution of the PtNi Bimetallic Alloy Fuel Cell Catalyst under Simulated…


Dr. Peter Kúš receives the Dean's Prize for his book on thin-film catalysts

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Last year we informed that the dissertation of Dr. Peter Kúš had been selected for inclusion in Springer Theses and thus published as a book. The thesis presented a thorough experimental study of thin-film catalysts prepared by magnetron sputtering, and it brought results that can reduce the costs of energy storage in hydrogen. Now, the quality…


Study on a Pt-Ni cathode catalyst published in Applied Catalysis B: Environmental

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Dr. Ivan Khalakhan and co-workers have studied the impact of the operating conditions of a proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) on a Pt-Ni cathode catalyst. The aim was to gain fundamental insights into the changes in its surface composition. A PtNi alloy catalyst was exposed alternately to oxidizing (O2) and reducing (H2) atmospheres, which…


Tomáš Hrbek awarded the Dean's Prize for his bachelor thesis

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Our master student Tomáš Hrbek has received the Dean's Prize, which is awarded yearly to the authors of four best bachelor's and four best master's theses defended that year across the faculty. Tomáš was awarded for his bachelor's thesis named "Study of the effect of thin film catalyst morphology on efficiency of water electrolyzer with proton…


New publications on nanostructured catalysts

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The effort of our group to reduce the costs of water electrolyzers and hydrogen fuel cells is reflected in two new articles, published respectively in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy and in the Journal of Power Sources. Both studies deal with thin-film catalysts deposited by magnetron sputtering, and both show how the content of…


2nd Workshop of the Nanomaterials Group

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The Nanomaterials Group (NMG) organized the 2nd group workshop in Spišské Bystré, Slovakia. We spent one week, from June 30th to July 6th, in the pleasant village and its surroundings, which span the Slovak Paradise and the south-eastern part of the Tatra Mountains. This gave us time and space to discuss all scientific topics pursued by our group,…