McIntosh pursues research areas that are interdisciplinary in nature and encompass the fields of catalysis, electrochemistry, materials chemistry and reaction engineering. These fields come together in research projects centered on the development of novel materials and electrochemical systems for energy applications.

On research effort focuses on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs). SOFCs are considered as one of the most promising technologies to revolutionize the way we generate and distribute electrical energy. McIntosh believes that the route to increased cell performance and, ultimately, wider application of SOFC is through the design of new materials and composites for SOFC electrodes. For efficient operation, an SOFC electrode must be porous for gas diffusion, possess both ionic and electronic conductivity and be catalytically active towards the desired reaction. McIntosh seeks to increase fundamental knowledge of how current materials function, not only individually but as part of composite electrodes. His team uses this knowledge to develop new materials and manufacture SOFC that will operate on a wide variety of fuels with increased efficiency. A wide range of experimental techniques, from in-situ neutron diffraction to isotope exchange, are utilized to probe from the nanoscale function and design of materials to the macroscale operation of a fuel cell.

A second effort focuses on environmentally benign biological approaches to fabrication of functional nano-materials. For example, one project seeks to develop a scalable bacterial process to fabricate semiconductor quantum dots and incorporate these light harvesting particles into phocatalysts for artificial photosynthesis. Other projects focus on widening this material palette to create particles and structures for a wide array of photo-driven applications, from solar cells to water purification.

McIntosh is recipient of an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, as well as the EU Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship from the University of Twente, The Netherlands.

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Steven McIntosh
Steven McIntosh
Professor and Department Chair; Zisman Family Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
(610) 758-6835
Lehigh University - Packer Campus
HST Building, 224
124 E. Morton Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
M.S., University of Pennsylvania
B.Eng., University of Edinburgh

Areas of Research

Catalysis, Electrochemistry, Materials Chemistry, Reaction Engineering, Energy Applications, Neutron Scattering