Graduate Curriculum in Electrochemistry

Core Courses

There are four core courses for graduate study in electrochemical science and engineering:

CH 390L-1 Electrochemical Methods
CH 390L-2 Advanced Analytical Electrochemistry
ME 386Q-14 Electrochemical Energy Materials
ME 386Q-x Electrochemical Energy Systems


CH 390L-1 Electrochemical Methods

This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of electrochemistry and the application of electrochemical methods to chemical problems. Special emphasis will be given to the study of electrode reaction mechanisms and the interpretation of electrochemical results (e.g., cyclic voltammetry) for organic and inorganic systems. A rigorous consideration of voltammetric and coulometric methods and several topics of interest in electrochemistry (for example: modified electrodes, photoelectrochemistry, scanning electrochemical microscopy) will be undertaken as time permits. Students are assumed to have some background in the physical chemistry of solutions, potentiometry, polarography and electroanalytical chemistry at the general level of undergraduate courses and CH 381M. Some ability in computer programming, at the minimum use of spreadsheets, like Excel (to carry out the digital simulations taught in the course) is also assumed.


CH 390L-2 Advanced Analytical Electrochemistry

This course covers the theory and practice of a broad spectrum of advanced electrochemical analytical methods including: scanning electrochemical microscopy. rotating disk electrodes, and impedance spectroscopy, as well as hybrid techniques for in situ and ex situ study of interfaces: FTIR, Raman, XAFS, XPS, LEED, MS, SPM, and EQCM. Interpretation of these techniques requires a clear understanding of the underlying physical principles of for example: interaction of light and electrochemistry in photoelectrochemical processes at semiconductor electrodes and electrogenerated chemiluminescence, inner sphere reactions, adsorption, surface reactions, electrocatalysis, and modified electrodes. Insights into these processes are developed before considering how the analytical techniques can be applied in the practical studies of electrochemical devices such as batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors, and sensors. Some modeling (computer simulation) with Multi-physics.


ME 386Q-14 Electrochemical Energy Materials

After providing a brief introduction to the necessary basic electrochemical concepts and parameters, this course focuses on the principles of operation and materials for electrochemical energy storage devices (batteries and capacitors) and electrochemical energy conversion devices (fuel cells) with an emphasis on materials design based on basic chemistry and physics concepts and structure-composition-performance relationships. Specifically, electrode and electrolyte materials for both primary (non-rechargeable) and secondary (rechargeable) batteries including lithium ion batteries and electrochemical capacitors are first discussed. Then, electrode and electrolyte materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cells, and solid oxide fuel cells including polymeric membranes, alloy electrocatalysts, and mixed ionic-electric conductors are covered. Particular attention is paid, wherever necessary, to basic solid state chemistry concepts that govern and control the properties and performance of the materials involved.
(Professor Arumugam Manthiram)


ME 386Q-x Electrochemical Energy Systems

Just as hybrid vehicles have allowed for improvements in fuel efficiency in automobiles while maintaining performance, electrochemical energy systems are being adopted in other energy conversion and storage applications, because of their potential for high conversion efficiencies and because of the need to decouple primary power generation from end use. This course provides an overview of electrochemical energy system design. Insight is developed into how the presence of charged species and charge-transfer across an interface affects both thermodynamic and kinetic processes. After examining the fundamentals of electrochemical systems and the interaction of thermodynamics and kinetic processes, practical details of electrochemical energy system design are considered. Major engineering and materials challenges associated with developing rechargeable batteries and fuel cells, are identified and used to illustrate how cell design is optimized for a given duty cycle, trading fuel efficiency and capital cost.


Additional Recommended Courses

Students should consult their faculty advisors on other courses in materials and analysis that are appropriate to an electrochemistry curriculum. Possible recommendations include:

CH 381M Advanced Analytical Chemistry
CH 383L Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
CH 390L Optics and Laser Spectroscopy
CHE 386K Theory of X-ray Diffraction
CHE 386L Lab Experiments in X-ray Diffraction
CHE 395E Polymer Science and Engineering Lab
ME 386P-4 Solid State Properties of Materials
ME 386Q Nanomaterials
ME 386Q-11 Ceramic Engineering
ME 387R-3 Transmission Electron Microscopy
ME 387R-5 Materials Characterization Techniques
ME 397 Experimental Techniques in Electron Microscopy