Tim Van Cleve is a scientist in the Electrochemical Engineering and Materials Chemistry Group researching how electrode structure impacts the performance of electrochemical energy conversion devices (fuel cells, electrolyzers, etc). In particular, he is interested in using in situ electrochemical techniques to identify how the catalyst-ionomer interface and electrode microstructure affect reaction kinetics and mass transport throughout the electrode layer in order to elucidate robust structure-property relationships and facilitate successful integration of promising materials into state-of-the-art cell architectures. Tim has extensive theoretical and experimental research experience investigating how the local environment of catalytic sites impacts their activity, selectivity, and stability in electrochemical and thermochemical applications.

Research Interests

Electrochemical engineering: PEM/AEM fuel cells, CO/CO2 electrolyzers, and electrochemical diagnostics

Catalyst-adsorbate interactions: ionomer coverage and self-assembled monolayers

Rational catalyst design: targeted synthesis of novel catalytic sites, computational catalysis, and modeling reaction kinetics


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan

M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan

B.S., Chemistry, University of Florida

B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Florida

Featured Work

Modifying the Electrocatalyst–Ionomer Interface via Sulfonated Poly(ionic liquid) Block Copolymers to Enable High-Performance Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells, ACS Energy Letters (2020)

Dictating Pt-Based Electrocatalyst Performance in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells, from Formulation to Application, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2019)

Enhanced Hydrothermal Stability of γ-Al2O3 Catalyst Supports with Alkyl Phosphonate Coatings, Langmuir (2018)

Nanoscale Engineering of Efficient Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalysts by Tailoring the Local Chemical Environment of Pt Surface Sites, ACS Catalysis (2017)

Pitfalls and Best Practices in Measurements of the Electrochemical Surface Area of Platinum-Based Nanostructured Electro-Catalysts, Journal of Catalysis (2017)

Electrochemical Oxygen Reduction on Ag Nanoparticles of Different Shapes, ChemCatChem (2016)