Prof. Sangaraju Shanmugam


 Development of low-humidity operating polymer electrolyte membrane


  In a fuel cell, the chemical energy is directly converted to electricity; fuel cell can operate at much higher efficiencies than internal combustion engines, extracting more electricity from the same amount of fuel. Fuel cells are extremely attractive energy conversion devices for transportation and portable applications because of their high efficiency and lower emission properties. Among several types of fuel cells, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) have been regarded as promising options for electrical vehicles.

    The polymer electrolyte fuel cells operating under low relative humidity and elevated temperature has received an attractive interest to improve electrode kinetics, enhance anode resistance to CO poisoning and simplifying the thermal management of the system. In this research, we created proton transport channels in electrolyte membrane by incorporating porous hygroscopic metal oxide nanotube fillers in order that the polyelectrolyte ionomer can expose into the inner surface of the tubes, was found an effective approach to enhance the proton conductivity of electrolyte membranes. The main advantage of introducing porous hygroscopic tubular fillers in electrolyte membrane not only facilitates proton transport channel in the membrane but also suppress the mass transport overpotential of PEFCs operated under low RH and elevated temperature.

  1. K. Ketpang, K. Oh, S.C. Lim, S. Shanmugam* J. Power Sources 329 (2016) 441.

  2. A.K. Sahu, K. Ketpang, S. Shanmugam*, K. Osung, S. L. Lee, H. Kim* J. Phys. Chem. C 120 (2016) 15855.

  3. K. Oh, K. Ketpang, H. Kim, S. Shanmugam*, J. Membr. Sci., 507 (2016) 135.

  4. K. Ketpang, S. Shanmugam*, C. Suwanboon, N. Chanunpanich, and D.H. Lee, J. Mem. Sci., 493 (2015) 285.

  5. K. Ketpang, B. Son, D. H. Lee, S. Shanmugam*, J. Membr. Sci., 488 (2015) 154.

  6. Y. Kim, K. Ketpang, S. Jaritphun, J.-S. Park, S. Shanmugam* J. Mater. Chem. A 3 (2015) 8148.

  7. K. Ketpang, K. Lee, S. Shanmugam* ACS Appl. Mater & Interfaces 6 (2014) 16734.


Development of Non-precious cathode catalysts

  Our research work is focused to develop non-precious cathode catalyst for proton exchange fuel cells. Especially, the designed a new electrode material based on metal coordinated with nitrogen-doped carbon based catalyst (M-N-C) as an extremely high electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in an acidic media. In addition, these materials encompass superior long-term stability and CO-tolerance in ORR, compared to the Pt catalyst.


  1. J. Sanetuntikul,  C. Chuaicham, J. W. Choi, S. Shanmugam* J. Mater. Chem. A. 3 (2015) 15473.

  2. G. Jo, J. Sanetuntikul, S. Shanmugam* RSC Adv., 5 (2015) 53637.

  3. J. Sanetuntikul, S. Shanmugam, Nanoscale 7 (2015) 7644

  4. P. Ganesan, M. Prabu, J. Sanetuntikul, S. Shanmugam*, ACS Catal. 5 (2015) 3625.

  5. J. Sanetuntikul, T. Hang, S. Shanmugam* Chem. Commun., 50 (2014) 9473.

  6. J. Sanetuntikul, S. Shanmugam* Electrochimica Acta 119 (2014) 92.



Design cost-effective catalysts for the PEM water electrolysis


   Our research goal is to design highly active catalysts for the PEM water electrolyser to produce pure form of hydrogen using renewable resources, such as water.  Producing pure form of hydrogen for the fuel cells is one of the important issues.  Hence, producing pure form of hydrogen using PEMC type electrolyser is one of the effective ways. In order to address the major challenges for PEMC electrolyser such as costly electro catalysts and sluggish oxygen oxidation reaction, the effective catalysts are needed.  The focus of my research is on metal sulphides as water oxidation catalysts which are also one of the promising candidates for the OER and HER for PEMC water splitting to give low power consumption per standard volume of hydrogen with durability which meets the commercialisation.


  1. A. Sivanantham, S. Shanmugam*, Appl. Catal. B. 203 (2017) 485

  2. P. Ganesan, A. Sivanantham, S. Shanmugam*, J. Mater. Chem. A 4 (2016) 16394.

  3. A. Sivanantham, P. Ganesan, S. Shanmugam*, Adv. Funct. Mater. 26 (2016) 4661.

  4. V. Ahilan, M. Prabu, S. Shanmugam*, ACS Applied Mater & Inter., 8 (2016) 6019.

  5. S. Hyun, V. Ahilan, H. Kim, S. Shanmugam*, Electrochem. Commun, 63 (2016) 44.

  6. P. Ganesan, M. Prabu, J. Sanetuntikul, S. Shanmugam* ACS Catal. 5 (2015) 3625.


Development of high energy electrode materials based on carbon/carbon composites for Supercapacaitors applications

The current and future demands for efficient storage technology in hybrid electric vehicles are higher than ever for environmental protection and the replacement of fossil fuels. Supercapacitors (SCs) have attracted much attention as energy storage devices because of their ultrafast charge-discharge rate, high power capability, low maintenance, and long cycle life. Besides, they can bridge the gap between the higher energy density offering batteries and the high power density delivering conventional capacitors. However, the limitation of energy density remains a key challenge in SCs research.  Although, considerable efforts have been made such as replacing/ incorporating the high energy electrode materials (metal oxides and conductive polymers) in commercial carbon electrode materials but with the sacrificing long term cycle capability. Considering the current scenario in the urge of SCs advancement, in our research work, we aimed to develop a cost effective and facial route for commercial scale level production of electrode materials, carbon/ carbon composites, with well tuned physical and chemical properties for favoring high energy density, without sacrificing the long term cycle and high charge-discharge capability.

  1. P. Ramakrishnan, S. Shanmugam*, J. Power Sources 316 (2016) 60.

  2. R. Prakash, S. Shanmugam*, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Eng., (2016) 2439.

  3. P. Ramakrishnan, S. Shanmugam*,  J. Mater. Chem A, 3 (2015) 16242.

  4. P. Ramakrishnan, S. Shanmugam* Electrochimica Acta 125 (2014) 232.