Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Materials Science and Engineering (M.S.M.S.E)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Venkat R. Bhethanabotla, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

John N. Kuhn, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott Campbell, Ph.D.


Electrochemistry, Fuel cells, Mesoporous, Sol-gel processing, Tungsten oxide


Mesoporous WO3 powders were prepared via sol-gel processing synthesis using nonionic surfactant Pluronic (P-123) as the template. The influences of heating temperature on the pore structure and properties of WO3 powders were investigated. Three kinds of modifications were compared and evaluated after finding out the best heating condition. Different amount of lanthanum was doped into mesoporous WO3 to improve its Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) activity. Several factors contributing to the increase of catalytic performance were discussed. Vulcan carbon powder was also used as a support to increase the catalysts’ electrical conductivity as well as dispersity. The component, microstructure and specific surface area of samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and N2 adsorption-desorption analysis. A three-electrode system with a rotating disk electrode (RDE) was used to detect samples’ electrochemical performance towards ORR in alkaline solutions. The as-prepared mesoporous La/WO3 powder with a ratio of La: W = 1: 10, calcined at 550℃ and supported by 25 wt% Vulcan carbon powder, exhibited highest ORR catalytic activity.