The Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM) is an institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) (Spanish National Research Council) founded in December 1986, that belongs to the Area of Science and Technology of Materials, one of the eight Areas in which the CSIC divides its research activities.


Our mission is to create new fundamental and applied knowledge in materials of high technological impact, their processing and their transfer to the productive sectors at local, national and European scales (the true value of materials is in their use), the training of new professionals, and the dissemination of the scientific knowledge.

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Forthcoming Events


The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017: Spacetime ripples and flashes of light
José Antonio Font  read more


Solid-state Li-ion batteries and their components for future electrochemical energy storage media
Robert Kun  read more


Emergent quantum phases in relativistic magnetic oxides
Cesare Franchini  read more

High-temperature stability of Pd alloy membranes containing Cu and Au

Haiyuan Jia, Ping Wu, Gaofeng Zeng, Eduardo Salas-Colera, Aida Serrano, German R.Castro, Hengyong Xu, Chenglin Sun and Andreas Goldbach

High-temperature stability of Pd-based membranes benefits their application in steam reformers and sulfur-contaminated H2 streams because both membrane reforming efficiency and sulfur tolerance of Pd alloys increase much with temperature. Hence, we investigated PdCu, PdAu, and PdCuAu membranes supported on porous ceramic tubes between 500 °C and 650 °C. Remarkably, PdCu membranes were much more stable than Au-containing ones. The H2 permeation rates of some PdAu and PdCuAu membranes declined at 550 °C with substantially increasing N2 fluxes. This was triggered by severe morphological deformation of the Au alloy films into stoichiometrically inhomogeneous, cavernous structures. The H2 fluxes of the PdCu membranes started to decline at 650 °C with leak flows increasing slightly. Moreover, the PdCu layer morphology remained dense and compositionally homogeneous even after testing for up to 4800 h between 500 and 650 °C. The strikingly different high-temperature stability can be understood by considering the divergent surface segregation tendencies of Cu and Au and their differing impact on hydrogen solubility in Pd alloys. As a result, Au may desorb much more easily from membranes than Cu leading to structural instability above 500 °C during operation in H2. The instability of PdAu membranes at high temperatures may be mitigated by addition of sufficient Cu to obtain ternary membranes with good H2 permeability and better thermal stability.

Journal of Membrane Science, 2017

Fig. 1. The evolution of hydrogen fluxes and activation energy for membranes (a) PC1, (b) PCA9, (c) PCA7 and (d) PA1 as function of temperature at ΔΡ H2 = 100 kPa.

Publications Highlights

ICMM-2017 - Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 3, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain. Tel: +34 91 334 9000. info@icmm.csic.es