School of Science

Materials for energy conversion and storage

This course is part of the programme:
Materials Science

Objectives and competences

The students are introduced into basic principles of functioning of devices for electrochemical conversion and storage. They are acquainted with physical-chemical mechanisms that are exploited by such devices during their operation. They learn about the relationship between the structure, morphology, composition and functionality of materials constituting such devices. They are acquanted with additional effects occurring upon integration of active materials into electrode composites. They are introduced into techniques for investigation of individual components (active material, additives, supports) and interaction between these components. They get acquainted with the most important existing problems and drawbacks found in the novel energy devices and measures for their further improvements. Finally, they learn about wider aspects concering the introduction of novel devices (impact on environment and sustainable development, safety aspects, price-performance, development of relevant infrastructure etc.

Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Survey of modern sustainable technologies for electrochemical energy conversion and storage

2. Principles and mechanisms of electrochemical conversion (fuel cells, photo electrochemical devices)

3. Principle of energy storage in modern sustainable devices (reversible batteries/accumulators, supercapacitors)

4. Fundamental transport and reaction processes

5. Target properties of active materials for energy storage and conversion (crystal structure, surface structure and morphology, surface functionalization, electrical properties, influence of defects, doping)

6. The role of additives/non-active components (supports for active particles, binders, electrolytes)

7. Synthetic procedures for preparation of active materials and composites

8. Construction of electrodes and testing cells

9. Overview of typical modern devices:

a) fuel cells

b) photoelectrochemical cells

c) batteries

d) supercapacitors

10. Advantages and disadvantages of current generation of alternative devices and outlook

Intended learning outcomes

Understanding of principles of operation of modern devices for electrochemical energy conversion and storage.

Understanding of relationship between the basic materials properties (compostition, structure, morphology) and their functionality.

Understanding of transport and reaction mechanisms in these devices.

Understanding of side reactions, impact of additives, support materials and interactions between the active matter and additional phases in composite electrodes.

Systematic knowledge about different types of modern devices for energy storage and conversion.

Knowledge about limitations, existing issues and wider aspect concerning commercialization of novel devices, including the impact on environment, safety and economy.


  • W. Vielstich, A. Lamm, and H.A. Gasteiger, Handbook of Fuel Cells: Fundamentals, Technology, Application, Vol. 1, Wiley, Chichester, 2003

  • D. Pletcher & F.C. Walsh, Industrial Electrochemistry, 2nd ed., Chapman and Hall, London, 1990

  • Fuel cell handbook, EG&G Services, Parsons, Inc., Science Applications International Corpora-tion, Morgantown, WV : U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, National Energy Technolo-gy Laboratory, 2000.

  • C. Vincent & B. Scrosati, Modern Batteries, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2nd Edition, 1997.

  • Lithium Ion Batteries: Fundamentals and Performance, M. Wakihara, O. Yamamoto (Eds.), John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

  • A. Goetzberger, V. U. Hoffmann, Photovoltaic Solar Energy Generation, Springer, Berlin, 2005.

  • Assessment

    Seminar work, Participation in laboratory work, Oral exam

    Lecturer's references

    Doc. dr. Goran Dražić:

    Assistant Professor for Microscopy at Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School

    1. KRIVEC, Matic, ŽAGAR, Kristina, SUHADOLNIK, Luka, ČEH, Miran, DRAŽIĆ, Goran. A highly efficient TiO[sub]2-based microreactor for photocatalytic applications. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 2013, vol. 5, 9088-9094.

    2. AMISSE, Robin, SOUGRATI, Moulay Tahar, STIEVANO, Lorenzo, DAVOISNE, C., DRAŽIĆ, Goran, BUDIČ, Bojan, DOMINKO, Robert, MASQUELIER, Christian. Singular structural and electrochemical properties in highly defective LiFePO [sub] 4 powders. Chemistry of materials, 2015, vol. 27, 4261-4273.

    3. VIŽINTIN, Alen, LOZINŠEK, Matic, KUMAR CHELLAPPAN, Rajesh, FOIX, Dominique, KRAJNC, Andraž, MALI, Gregor, DRAŽIĆ, Goran, GENORIO, Boštjan, DEDRYVÈRE, Rémi, DOMINKO, Robert. Fluorinated reduced graphene oxide as an interlayer in Li-S batteries. Chemistry of materials, 2015, vol. 27, 7070-7081.

    4. PASTRANA-MARTINEZ, L. M., GOMES, Helder T., DRAŽIĆ, Goran, FARIA, Joaquim Luís, SILVA, Adrián M. T. Hydrothermal synthesis of iron oxide photo-fenton catalysts : the effect of parameters on morphology, particle size and catalytic efficiency. Global NEST journal, 2014, vol. 16, 474-484.

    Doc. dr. Ivan Jerman:

    Assistant Professor for Chemistry at the Faculty of Technologies and Systems, Novo Mesto

    1. PIRNAT, Klemen, BITENC, Jan, JERMAN, Ivan, DOMINKO, Robert, GENORIO, Boštjan. Redox-active functionalized graphene nanoribbons as electrode material for Li-ion batteries, ChemElectroChem, 2014, vol. 1, 2131-2137.

    2. MIHELČIČ, Mohor, ŠURCA VUK, Angela, JERMAN, Ivan, OREL, Boris, ŠVEGL, Franc, MOULKI, Hakim, FAURE, Cyril, CAMPET, Guy, ROUGIER, Aline. Comparison of electrochromic properties of Ni1-xO in lithium and lithium-free aprotic electrolytes: from Ni1-xO pigment coatings to flexible electrochromic devices. Solar energy materials and solar cells, 2014, vol. 120, 116-130.

    3. MIHELČIČ, Mohor, JERMAN, Ivan, OREL, Boris. Preparation of electrochromic Ni1-xO and TiO2 coatings from pigment dispersions and their application in electrochromic foil based devices, Progress in organic coatings, 2013, Vol. 76, 1752-1755.

    4. STATHATOS, Elias, JOVANOVSKI, Vasko, OREL, Boris, JERMAN, Ivan, LIANOS, Panagiotis. Dye-sensitized solar cells made by using a polysilsesquiixane polymeric ionic fluid as redox electrolyte. The journal of physical chemistry C, Nanomaterials and interfaces, 2007, vol. 111 C, 6528-6532.

    University course code: 2ZMA18

    Year of study: 2

    Semester: 1

    Course principal:


    ECTS: 6


    • Lectures: 20 hours
    • Field exercises: 20 hours
    • Individual work: 120 hours

    Course type: elective

    Languages: slovenian / english

    Learning and teaching methods:
    lectures, lab work (synthesis, functionalization, interparticle interactions and assembly, assembly, characterization), seminar work