Thomas E. Springer, Ph.D.

Thomas Springer received his B.A. degree in physics from the College of Wooster in 1954 and his M. S. and Ph. D. degrees in physics from Yale University in 1955 and 1959. He then became a Technical Staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), initially in the controls group for the Nuclear Rocket program. Dr. Springer has remained at Los Alamos, retiring in 1996, but continuing part time at the Laboratory through the present. Throughout his career, his general interest has been the development of tools for simulation, analysis and data acquisition for scientists and engineers. He has been a member of the fuel cell group since its inception in the early ‘80s. His major work in the Material Science and Technology Division is developing static and dynamic models for polymer electrolyte (PEFCs) and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Emphasis has been on understanding mass transport and ionic resistance losses at the higher current densities needed for transportation applications. One static model determines water balance through anode, membrane separator, and cathode as a function of current density. The model considers electroosmotic drag and diffusion of water in the ionomeric separator to determine the water concentration and corresponding ionic conductivity as a function of position. Another model predicts cathode layer losses due to oxygen diffusion and ionic resistance through the catalyst layer and predicts the ac impedance of a cell. An anode model examines the effects of dilute reformate gas and CO poisoning. Least squares fitting of measured data to these models is included.