mESC-School 23


-Burak Aktekin
-Mehmet Kadri Aydinol
-Oleg Drozhzhin
-Duncan Paul Fagg
-Selmiye Alkan Gürsel
-Mohamed Mamlouk

-Alexander Karl Opitz
-Damla Eroğlu Pala
-Bora Timurkutluk
-Cigdem Toparli
-Burak Ulgut
-Ramazan Yıldırım



Dr. Burak Aktekin
Justus Liebig University Giessen

In-situ and Operando Experiments in Battery Research

A thorough characterization of lithium-ion battery electrodes and electrolytes is essential for the development of advanced materials that enable better cell performance.Understanding the degradation products formed at the electrode/electrolyte interface during battery operation is equally important to determine and address the factors that limit their performance. Analytical techniques such as electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy provide insights into the morphological, structural, and surface chemical changes that occur in/on different cell components. Although ex situ analysis can provide already quite useful information, in situ and operando characterization techniques are essential for studying battery materials under more realistic operating conditions. Large-scale synchrotron or neutron facilities can provide significant advantages for conducting such dynamic experiments on battery materials. Intense and tunable X-rays available in synchrotron radiation sources also offer possibilities to perform X-ray absorption spectroscopy and resonant inelastic X-ray scattering experiments which can allow us to study electronic structure of electrodes at different state of charges. In this module, the partcipants will be introduced to some advanced characterization techniques used in battery research through brief explanations and example case studies in order to help them gain familiarity with such methods.

Burak Aktekin received his B.Sc(2010) and M.Sc (2013) in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department in Middle East Technical University. He then joined Uppsala University where he worked on the high voltage spinel positive electrodes for LiBs. His research activities covered (post)synthesis modifications of cathode materials, electrode and cell preparation in different formats, as well as a study of liquid (and polymer) electrolytes. Having obtained his PhD in 2019 and following a brief postdoctoral period at Uppsala University, Dr. Aktekin joined J. Janeks’s research group at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Justus Liebig University Giessen where he is working on Interfaces in solid-state batteries Dr. Aktekin has experience in a wide range of analytical tools within the context of battery research including synchrotron/neutron diffraction to perform in situ and operando experiments.

Prof. Kadri Aydınol
Middle East Technical University

“Advances in Li-ion Batteries “

Current status in Li-ion battery technology. Challenges to develop advanced materials enabling higher energy and power density, increased capacity and operating voltage, higher electrochemical and thermal stability, fast chargeability, higher cycleability and improved safety. Recent research trends focusing on adapting Ni-rich layered, Mn spinel and phosphate based cathode materials for high capacity, high energy and high safety issues. Doping, coating and compositional partitioning strategies. Li  metal and Si(Ox) containing anodes, solid state electrolytes and liquid electrolytes with stabilized formulations. 

Kadri Aydınol is a professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Middle East Technical University (METU). He received his PhD in Metallurgical Engineering in 1994 at METU. He then joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, as a post-doc, working in the field of Li-ion battery research. Having returned to METU in 1998, he has led a research group with accumulated experience on processing, structural and electrochemical characterization of active materials used in lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride, lithium-ion, silver-zinc, zinc-air batteries, together with an experience in industrial cell making processes.

Dr. Oleg Drozhnhin
Lomonosov Moscow State University

Synthesis of Active Materials for Batteries and Fuel Cels

“Electrode materials are key components of electrochemical power sources. They determine such parameters as energy density, power, lifespan, cost, etc. In this regard, the issues related to the synthesis of these materials are among the key problems of modern inorganic chemistry and material science. Within the framework of the mini-course, the main methods for the synthesis of inorganic materials for electrochemical power sources will be considered: solid-state, sol-gel, solvothermal, co-precipitation, spray-drying etc. We will analyze the effect of the synthesis method on the morphology, defectiveness, and electrochemical properties of materials.”

Dr. Oleg Drozhzhin is the head of the Materials for Electrochemical Processes lab at the Faculty of Chemistry of Moscow State University. He graduated from the Material Sciences Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University (2006). His diploma research was devoted to the synthesis and study of the novel complex cobalt oxides with perovskite-like structure. During his post-graduate work at IPCP-RAS), Oleg Drozhzhin proposed, synthesized and studied several novel cathode materials for solid oxide fuel cells, including the fabrication and electrochemical testing of the SOFC. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry (2009), Dr. Drozhzhin focused on studying the materials for (Li, Na)-ion batteries. At the moment, he and his group performs the whole range of research and development in the field of electrochemical material science – from synthesis of different families of the cathode and anode materials to developing the original electrochemical cells for combined study of the electrochemical properties and structural transformation of the materials during electrochemical treatment. Material synthesis techniques developed by Dr. Oleg Drozhzhin and his group are now being scaled up in companies by scientists from Moscow State University and Skoltech.

Dr. Duncan Paul Fagg
University of Aveiro

“Solid State Proton Conductors: Materials, Applications and Measurements “

Dr. Duncan Fagg is currently employed as a Principal Researcher in the nanotechnology research division (NRD) in the University of Aveiro, Portugal. He obtained his B.SC in Chemstry and Materials science Nottingham University 1992 and Ph.D. in Chemistry Aberdeen University 1997. He has over 20 years of research experience with previous placements in CICECO Aveiro, Portugal, ICV Autonomous University Madrid, Spain, Dept.Chemical Engineering, Patras Greece, School of Chemistry, St-Andrews University Scotland, and Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Roskilde Denmark. He is the author of over 100 international scientific publications in areas covering Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), Solid Oxide Electrolyser Cells (SOEC), Oxygen separation membranes, Hydrogen separation membranes, Hydrogen Storage.


Prof. Selmiye Alkan Gürsel
Sabancı University

Advances in PEM fuel Cells

Fuel Cells are one of a variety of electrochemical power sources but are more precisely devices designed to convert chemical energy directly to electrical energy. In this lecture, the comparison of fuel cells with batteries, a brief history of fuel cells, fuel cell types, applications of fuel cells, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), chemistry & thermodynamics of fuel cells, performance & polarization characteristics, fuel cell components (electrolyte, membrane, catalyst layer, GDL) and new materials & new approaches for PEMFC will be presented.

Selmiye Alkan Gürsel received BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from the Middle East Technical University Department of Chemistry and, as part of her doctoral studies, she carried out research on electrochromic polymers at the University of Florida (USA). She conducted post-doctoral studies on fuel cells in the General Energy Department of Paul Scherrer Institute. She has been working as a faculty member in the Materials Science and Nano Engineering Program at Sabanci University since 2008. She is directing and participating various international and national projects on fuel cells, polymer membranes, graphene, lithium-ion batteries, lithium -air batteries, electrolyzers. She participated in Graphene Flagship Project, in FP7 (Graphene-Driven Revolutions in ICT and Beyond) and Horizon 2020 (Graphene- Based Disruptive Technologies) phases as the primary investigator, scientific representative of the work package on fuel cells and national contact point from Turkey. She was awarded by L’Oreal Young Woman in Science Scholarship 2010, METU Prof. Dr. Mustafa N. PARLAR Research Incentive Award 2012, Science Academy -Young Academics Prize Scholarships (BAGEP) 2013. She received “Academic Prize” in the inaugural Women Energizing Turkey Awards endowed by the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in 2018. She is currently Vice-Dean of Research at Sabanci University Faculty of Engineering & Natural Sciences.

Prof. Mohamed Mamlouk
Newcastle University

“Alkaline Electrolysers- an Overveiw”

Professor Mohamed Mamlouk is a lecturer for the School of Engineering at University of Newcastle with an area of expertise in Electrochemical Engineering Science. Dr Mamlouk’s research interests include energy storage and conversion by electrochemical technologies, including fuel cells, electrolyzers, metal-air and redox batteries. He is also interested in electrochemical engineering and membrane Science & Engineering with focus on Anion Exchange membranes and their degradation, as well as Electro-dialysis and reverse electro-dialysis. Dr. Mamlouk has over 14 years’ experience developing anion and cation exchange polymers membranes for fuel cells and electrolysers. Mamlouk’s anion exchange membranes (AEM) among the most conductive in the literature with through plane conductivity above 0.1 S cm-1 and has recently identified new degradation pathways of AEM challenging the current understanding of AEM degradation and allowing the design of new generation of more stable AEMs. He is also experienced in optimizing the composition and morphology of electrodes and electrolytes for intermediate temperature cation exchange membrane (H -PEM) fuel cells and electrolysers reporting the highest power density in literature for AEM based fuel cell of 0.823 mW cm-2 . Mamlouk also researched and developed non-noble metal electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions achieving similar power density to that of Platinum catalyst

Prof. Alexander Karl Opitz
TU Wien

“Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy for Solid Oxide Electrolysis / Fuel Cells Research”

In the light of climate changes caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, efficient energy conversion and especially storage of excess sustainable energy are of increasing importance. Solid oxide electrolysis and fuel cells (SOECs & SOFCs) are expected to play an important role in future energy storage and conversion scenarios due to their high thermodynamic efficiency and large fuel flexibility reaching from hydrogen to carbon based fuels. For an efficient operation of SOECs & SOFCs, optimized materials such as solid electrolytes with high ion conductivity and best-performing electrodes are needed. Besides the individual materials, it is also often the numerous interfaces in these devices, which play an important role.
Impedance spectroscopy is a tool, which allows separation of individual electrochemical elementary parameters such as grain and grain boundary conductivities in solid electrolytes, surface and interface resistances in mixed conducting electrodes, and also capacitive contributions such as interfacial or chemical capacitances. This presentation deals with the role of impedance spectroscopy for the basic characterisation of materials used in SOECs/SOFCs. Discussed examples reach from conductivity measurements on electrolyte materials over material characterisation using geometrically well-defined model systems, to real 3D porous cermet electrodes.

Alexander K. Opitz is the head of the research group Electrochemical Energy Conversion at TU Wien(Vienna, Austria). There he also received his PhD in 2011. He was a visiting scientist at MIT in 2017 and returned to a tenure track position at TU Wien, where he is now an Assistant Professor in the research division of Technical Electrochemistry. He is doing research in the fields of Solid State Ionics (electrode kinetics, current pathways, and electrochemically active zones of solid state electrochemical systems), heterogeneous catalysis (in-situ spectroscopic and analytic studies on the surface chemistry and catalytic activity of electrodes), and materials chemistry (synthesis and characterization of novel, alternative materials for solid oxide cells).

Prof. Damla Eroğlu Pala
Boğaziçi University

“Machine Learning for Battery Research”

There is an excessive amount of data available in the literature. However, because of the vastness and complexity of the variables in battery research, identifying the critical connection between materials and cell design and battery performance is not straightforward. Machine learning has been extensively used in recent years to analyze large datasets in various fields of science. ML is especially a highly valuable tool for such complex systems as batteries. We will discuss using ML tools in battery research to deduce heuristic rules and develop predictive models.

Dr. Eroğlu Pala, associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Bogazici University conducts both experimental and theoretical research on electrochemical systems. Her activity concentrates on lithium-sulfur batteries as well as on the application of machine learning in battery research. Before Bogazici University, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory working with Dr. Kevin Gallagher between 2013 and 2015 as a part of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR). Her work there focused on techno-economic modeling and materials-to-system analysis of beyond lithium-ion batteries for transportation applications.Dr. Eroğlu Pala received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University in May 2013 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Alan West where she worked on electrochemical characterization and modeling in complex electrochemical systems such as rechargeable batteries and metal/composite electrodeposition. Before her Ph.D., she earned her M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Turkey, in 2008 and 2006, respectively.

Prof. Bora Timurkutluk
Nigde Omer Halisdemir University

“Advances in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells “

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Operating principle, main pros and cons, cell components and configuration, cell geometry, fabrication method, common materials, stack and components, performance measurements, current and future research direction.

Bora Timurkutluk is a professor in Mechanical Engineering Department at Nigde Omer Halisdemir University. He received BSc (2004) and MSc (2007) degrees from Mechanical Engineering Department at Middle East Technical University. He then joined to research group in Nigde Omer Halisdemir University and completed his PhD studies there (2013). During this period, he also worked as a senior R&D engineer for Vestel Defense Industry. Professor Timurkutluk has over 15 years experiences in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. His main research interest is solid oxide fuel cells and is specifically doing research on microtubular solid oxide fuel cells, alternative fabrication techniques and microstructural engineering of electrodes besides the studies on design, modeling, fabrication, test and characterization at cell, stack and system levels. He is currently director of Nigde Omer Halisdemir University Prof. Dr. T. Nejat Veziroglu Clean Energy Research Center and head of Mechanical Engineering Department. He has also provided academic consultancy to some private companies on fuel cells for more than 10 years

Dr. Çigdem Toparli
Middle East Technical University

“Photoemission Spectroscopy  for Battery Research

Dr. Toparli is an assitant professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Middle East Technical University. She received her B.Sc (2011) from Istanbul Technical University and Ph.D(2017) from Max Planck Institute for Iron Research where she worked on in-situ and operando observation of passive film formation on Cu and its breakdown through oxygen evolution reaction (OER). she then moved to US and joined Professors Bilge Yildizs’ and Michael Shorts’ group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a postdoctoral associate. Her work at MIT focused on the development of hydrogen and crud resistant coatings for nuclear applications. Dr Toparlı is currently leading a research group at METU with activities focusing on the use multicomponent oxide systems for batteries and eceltrolysers.

Prof. Burak Ulgut
Bilkent University

“Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy for Battery Research”

Impedance spectroscopy is an experimental tool that can yield fundamental materials information in electrochemical storage systems. Basics of impedance spectroscopy will be covered including the basic math and experimental methods. Emphasis will be placed on validating the obtained data and distinguishing the effects of instrumental and sample-based artifacts from actual physical parameters. Applications to energy storage will be discussed using examples of supercapacitors and batteries.

Dr. Burak Ülgüt is an associate professor at Bilkent Universitry. He got his PhD in Electrochemistry from Cornell University in 2007.He was a postdoc at the Optoelectronics group in Cambridge University for a year. He then spent 6 years in Gamry Instruments developing various instrumental tools about Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and Spectroelectrochemistry. In 2014 he returned to Turkey to spend a year at Inci Aku as an R&D executive. In the fall of 2015 he joined the Chemistry department of Bilkent University where he is leading a research group working on developing new electrochemical measurement and modeling methodologies mostly geared towards a better understanding of energy storage and conversion systems.

Prof. Ramazan Yıldırım
Boğaziçi University

Machine Learning for Catalysis Research

Machine learning applications in catalysis and photocatalysis have increased significantly in recent years. Fast growing accumulation of accessible research data in databases and published papers coincided with astonishing developments in data storage, retrieval and processing technologies. This made the machine learning one of the most valuable tool to extract knowledge from past experiences to be used for material developments. Predictive models, decision rules and heuristics developed in this way can be used to improve the effectiveness of catalysis research, which is usually based on long, tedious and expensive trials due to the presence of large number of interacting variables. In this presentation, the basic principles, functions and algorithms of machine learning will be summarized, and then implementation of these algorithms in catalysis research will be discussed with some representative examples; especially selected form recent applications like water splitting and photocatalytic CO2 reduction.

Ramazan Yıldırım is a professor of Chemical Engineering at Boğaziçi University. He got his B. Sc from Ege University and his MS is from Boğaziçi University. He then moved to University of California, Los Angeles where he received his Ph.D. in 1993. He then worked as quality consultant in private sector for a short time and he was management consultant and trainer in his own company in 1994-2000. He is a full time professor in Boğaziçi University Chemical Engineering Department since 2001. His research focuses on catalysis and photocatalysis, machine learning analysis of energy conversion technologies (e.g. catalytic hydrogen production and purification, water splitting, photocatalytic CO2 reduction, biofuel production and solar cells) as well as machine learning applications in energy storage systems.