Radenka Maric

CT Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy


Ph.D., University of Kyoto, Japan

Current Research

  • Fuel cell and batteries
  • Hydrogen generation
  • Nanomaterials and thin film coating
  • Ceramic processing
  • Gasification and biofuels

Professional Activities

Member: American Chemical Society
Member:Materials Research Society
Member: Metal Science and Technology Society of Japan
Member: Kyoto Energy-Environmental Research Association
Member: Electrochemical Society (International)
Member: American Ceramic Society
Member: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Member: International Institute for the Science of Sintering
Co-Editor: PEM Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts and Catalyst Layers

Current Research Group

Ph.D. Students
M.S. Students Undergraduate Students
Justin Roller
Rishabh Jain
Yang Wang
Yu Horan
Siwon Kim
Kwak Dongwook
Timothy Batt William Li
Erik Rogoff
Stephen Wieczerzak
Ryan Adams
Shannon Gagne
Mackenzie Merrick

Research Statement

Development of improved materials and processing techniques for the manufacture of fuel cells
A major focus of my research activities has been on improving the performance to cost ratio of fuel cell materials and components and development of low temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), both through changes to microstructure and composition of the materials and components, and to the manufacturing processes used to produce them. Low-temperature (LT) SOFC’s, aiming for operating temperatures of 550-650°C, are desirable for reducing the cost of applied materials, shorting start-up time and increasing lifetime for SOFC’s. The key obstacles of the development of these LT SOFC’s are high ohmic resistance and high electrode overpotentials, resulting in low power output density. I developed approaches to overcome these problems. The first is to reduce the electrode polarization resistance by using Co-rich perovskite materials, like La0.6Sr0.4CoO3 (LSC) or SSCO as cathode. The second approach is to introduce a thin and dense CGO-barrier layer between this cathode and the thin 8YSZ electrolyte. The third method is the modification of the fabrication process of the anode substrate, aiming for controlled microstructure with high porosity. A major component of this research theme has been the development of new manufacturing processes for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) components that can potentially lower the cost of the materials and processing when compared to traditional fabrication techniques. These processes are primarily based on thin film technologies such as reactive spray deposition technology (RSDT), PVD and plasma spray processing. RSDT flame based processing can produce fuel cell layers more rapidly than traditional techniques, and with no need for high-temperature sintering steps. RSDT can therefore potentially reduce both the manufacturing cost and capital cost required, as well as the material costs, by allowing the use of inexpensive stainless steel interconnect materials. The technique is also easy to automate and scale up for mass production, thus potentially further lowering cost.

Development of Low Pt loading catalyst layer and Pt alloys for PEM catalyst

The focuses of this program is on an adaptation of the Reactive Spray Deposition Technique for PEM Catalyst layer fabrication. It is now possible to co-deposit an entire low loading (<0.05mg/cm2 Pt) thin film (<0.5-3um) catalyst layer directly from precursors with this approach. The RSDT manufactured catalyst layer has a performance of 1 A/cm2 at 0.6V with 0.05mg/cm2 Pt cathode loading, in H2/O2 with 100 %RH, which is higher than the best low loading sputtered catalyst layers that have been published at 0.1mg/cm2 Pt loading. The broader goal of this program is to investigate the interplay of manufacturing, microstructure and performance for the creation of thinner catalyst layers.

Previous Positions

2004-2010 Group Leader and Program Manager, National Research Council Canada – Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation Vancouver, Canada
2001-2004 Program Manager, nGimat (Formerly known as MicroCoating Technologies), Atlanta, USA
1996-2001 Scientist, Japan Fire Ceramics Center (JFCC)
1995-1996 Fellow, New Energy Development Organization (NEDO)
1989-1990 Researcher, Institute of Technical Science at Serbian Academy of Science

Awards & Honors

2013 Women of Innovation,  Finalist in category of Research and Leadership, Connecticut Technology Council
2012 Visiting Professor, Tokyo University of Science, Fall
2012 Japan  Organization for Promotion of Science, Fellowship
2012 Elected Member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering
2009 Innovation Award, National Research Council of Canada
2006, 2007, 2008 Leadership Award, National Research Council of Canada
2003 National Academy of Engineering 9th Annual Frontiers of Engineering symposium
1996 The Best Young Woman Scientist Award, Japan
1995 Outstanding Young Scientist, Sankai Shinbun Award, Japan
1994 Best Faculty Paper Award, Kyoto University, Japan


Ayers., K.E., Renner, J.N., Danilovic, N., Wang, J.X., Zhang, Y., Maric, R., Yu, H., “Pathways to ultra-low platinum group metal catalyst loading in proton exchange membrane electrolyzers”, Catalysis Today, 261, 121-132 (2016).

Roller, J. M.,Maric, R., “A Study on Reactive Spray Deposition Technology Processing Parameters in the Context of Pt Nanoparticle Formation”, Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 24(8), 1529-1541 (2015).

Myles, T. D., Kim, S., Mustain, W., & Maric, R., “Application of a Coated Film Catalyst Layer Model to a High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with Low Catalyst Loading Produced by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology”, Catalysts, 5, 1673-1691 (2015).

Kim, S., Myles, T. D., Kunz, H. R., Kwak, D., Wang, Y., & Maric, R., “The Effect of Binder Content on the Performance of a High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Produced with Reactive Spray Deposition Technology”, Electrochimica Acta, 177, 190-200 (2015).

Jain, R., Poyraz, A. S., Gamliel, D. P., Valla, J., Suib, S. L., Maric, R., Comparative study for low temperature water gas shift reaction on Pt/ceria catalysts: Role of different ceria supports, Applied Catalysis A: General, 507, 1-13 (2015).

Myles, T., Kim, S., Maric, R., “Performance of a High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with Low Catalyst Loading Produced by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology”, ECS Transactions, 66 (24), 11-17 (2015).

Zhao, S., Yu, H., Maric, R., Danilovic, N., Capuano, C.B., Ayers, K.E., Mustain, W.E., “Calculating the electrochemically active surface area of Iridium oxide in operating proton exchange membrane electrolyzers”, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 162 (12), F1292-F1298 (2015).

Yu, H., Roller, J.M., Mustain, W.E., Maric, R., “Influence of ionomer/carbon ratio for low-Pt loading catalyst layer prepared by flame-based reactive spray deposition technology”, Journal of Power Sources, 283, 84-94 (2015).

Roller,J. M., Yu, H., Vukmirovic, M., Bliznakov, S., Kotula, P. G., Carter, C. B., Adzic, R., & Maric, R.,” Flame-based synthesis of core-shell structures using Pd-Ru and Pd cores”, Electrochimica Acta, 138, 341-352 (2014).

Jain R., Maric R., “Synthesis of Nano-Pt onto Ceria Support as Catalyst for Water-Gas Shift Reaction by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology”, Applied Catalysis A: General, 475, pp.461-468 (2014).

Yu H., Roller J., Kim S., Wang Y, Kwak D.,  Maric R. , “One-Step Deposition of Catalyst Layers for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) ”, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 161 (5), pp.F622-F627, (2014).

Jain R., Wang Y., Maric R., “Tuning of WO3 Phase Transformation and Structural Modification by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology”, J. Nanotech. Smart. Mater. 1: pp.1-7, (2014).

Dragan M., Strutt P., Maric R., “Crystallization and microstructure of metastable water quenched nanostructured 8 mol% yttria-stabilized zirconia using the solution precursor plasma spray method ”, Journal of Materials Science, 49 (8), pp. 3215-3224, (2014).

Garces H., Roller J., King’ondu C., Dharmarathna S., Ristau R., Jain R., Maric R., Suib S., “Formation of Platinum (Pt) Nanocluster Coatings on K-OMS-2 Manganese Oxide Membranes by Reactive Spray Deposition Technique (RSDT) for Extended Stability during CO Oxidation”, Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science 4 (1), pp.23-35, (2014).

Roller J. , Arellano-Jiméneza J., Yu H. , Carter C.B., and Maric R., “Catalyst nanoscale assembly from the vapor phase on corrosion resistant supports”, Electrochimica Acta , 107, pp. 632– 655, (2013).

Roller J., Arellano-Jiméneza J., Jain R., Yu H., Carter C.B., and Maric R., “Oxygen evolution during water electrolysis from thin films using bimetallic oxides of Ir-Pt and Ir-Ru”,J. Electrochem. Soc. 160 (6), F716-F730, (2013).

Roller J., Arellano-Jiméneza J., Jain R., Yu H., Maric R., Carter C.B., Processing, Activity and Microstructure of Oxygen Evolution Anodes Prepared by a Dry and Direct Deposition Technique, ECS Trans., 38 (1), pp. 223-229, (2013).

Roller, J., Orfino, F., Neagu, R., Maric, R., “Supported and unsupported platinum catalysts prepared by the one-step Reactive Spray Deposition Technology (RSDT) method and their oxygen reduction reactivity in acidic media”, J. Mater. Sci., 47 (11), pp. 4604-4601, (2012).

Maric, R., Roller, J., Neagu, R., ”Flame-based technologies and reactive spray deposition technology for low temperature solid oxide fuel cell”, Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 20 (4), pp. 696-718, (2011).

R. Maric, K. Furusaki. D. Nishijima, R. Neagu, Thin Film Low Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (LTSOFC) by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology, RSDT, ECS Trans., 35 (1), pp. 473-481, (2011).

Nédélec, R., Neagu, R., Uhlenbruck, S., Maric, R., Sebold, D., Buchkremer, H.-P., Stöver, D., “Gas phase deposition of diffusion barriers for metal substrates in solid oxide fuel cells” Surface and Coatings Technology, 205 (16), pp. 3999-4004, (2011).

Maric, R., Neagu, R., Zhang-Steenwinkel, Y., Van Berkel, F.P.F., Rietveld, B. “Reactive spray deposition technology – An one-step deposition technique for solid oxide fuel cell barrier layers”, Journal of Power Sources, 195 (24), pp. 8198-8201, (2010).

Hui, R., Sun, C., Yick, S., Decès-Petit, C., Zhang, X., Maric, R., Ghosh, D. “Ba1-xPrxCo1-yFeyO3-x as cathode materials for low temperature solid oxide fuel cells”, Electrochimica Acta, 55 (16), pp. 4772-4775 (2010). Impact Factor:3.642

T. Troczynski, and R. Maric, “Characterization of porous stainless steel 430 for low temperature SOFC substratesECS Transaction 26(1) pp.357-362, (2010).

Xie, Y., Maric, R., Ghosh, D., Neagu, R., Hsu, C.-S., Zhang, X., Decès-Petit, C., Robertson, M., “Thin film solid oxide fuel cells deposited by spray pyrolysis Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, 7 (2), pp. 0210071-0210076, (2010).

Neagu, R., Zhang, X., Maric, R., Roller, J. , “Characterisation and performance of SOFC components made by reactive spray deposition technology”, ECS Transactions, 25 (2), pp. 2481-2486, (2009).

Fatih, K., Neagu, R., Alzate, V., Neburchilov, V., Maric, R., Haijiang, W. , “Activity of Pt-Sn catalyst prepared by reactive spray deposition technology for ethanol electro-oxidation”, ECS Transactions, 25 (1), pp. 1177-1183(2009).

Maric, R., Roller, J., Neagu, R., Fatih, K., Tuck, A., “Low Pt loading thin cathode catalyst layer by reactive spraydeposition technology”, ECS Transactions, 12 (1), pp. 59-63, (2008).

Oberste Berghaus, J., Ghosh, D., Legoux, J.-G., Moreau, C., Hui, R., Decès-Petit, C., Qu, W., Maric, R. , “Suspension HVOF spraying of reduced temperature solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes”, Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 17 (5-6), pp. 700-707, (2008).

Wang, Z., Berghaus, J.O., Yick, S., Decès-Petit, C., Qu, W., Hui, R., Maric, R., Ghosh, D. , “Dynamic evaluation of low-temperature metal-supported solid oxide fuel cell oriented to auxiliary power units “, Journal of Power Sources, 176 (1), pp. 90-95, (2008).

Zhang, X., Robertson, M., Decès-Petit, C., Xie, Y., Hui, R., Qu, W., Kesler, O., Ghosh, D. , “Solid oxide fuel cells with bi-layered electrolyte structure”, Journal of Power Sources, 175 (2), pp. 800-805, (2008).

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-1450
Mailing Address191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3222, Storrs, CT 06269-3222
Office LocationUTEB-266, alternately: C2E2-121