Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
5000 Forbes Avenue
Scaife Hall 323
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Professor Litster’s research focuses on sustainable energy conversion technologies that leverage nano- and micro-scale transport phenomena for enhanced performance and new functionality. He is particularly interested in research that combines electrochemistry and electrokinetics with the mechanical engineering fundamentals of fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, and design.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology is poised to become an important bridge between sustainable energy sources and end-user services (i.e. transportation). Litster’s research addresses technical obstacles to wide-spread adoption of fuel cells, such as maintaining optimum water content in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. His recent research has led to the development of an active water management system for PEM fuel cells that uses integrated micro-porous wicking structures and electroosmotic pumps. Electroosmotic pumps are compact microfluidic devices that use electrokinetics to generate substantial flow and pressure with no moving parts. Professor Litster also conducts research on micro-fuel cells for portable devices (such as cell phones and laptops). This work deals with the development of novel micro-structured architectures and the complex interactions between these passive devices and their surrounding environment. His other research interests include membrane separation technology for water and process purification, hydrogen production, and CO2 capture and sequestration.
B.Eng. 2004, University of Victoria
M.A.Sc. 2005, University of Victoria
Ph.D. 2008, Stanford University
1. S. Litster and N. Djilali, “Performance Analysis of Microstructured Fuel Cells for Portable Applications,” In S.Kakac, L. Vasiliev, A. Pramuanjaroenkij (Eds.), Micro-Mini Fuel Cells-Fundamentals and Applications, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series, Springer Verlag, New York, NY, 2008.
2. S. Litster and N. Djilali, “Two-Phase Transport in Porous Gas Diffusion Electrodes,” In M. Faghri and B. Sunden (Eds.), Transport Phenomena in Fuel Cells, volume 17 of Developments in Heat Transfer, WIT Press, Southhampton, UK, Chapter 5, pp. 175-214, 2005.
1. S. Litster and N. Djilali, “Theoretical Performance Analysis of Micro-Structured Air-Breathing Fuel Cells,” Electrochemical and Solid State Letters, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. B1-B5, 2008.
2. D. Strickland, S. Litster, J.G. Santiago, “Current Distribution in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell with Active Water Management,” Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 174, pp. 272-281, 2007.
3. C. R. Buie, D. Kim, S. Litster and J.G. Santiago, “An Electroosmotic Fuel Pump for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells.,” Electrochemical and Solid State Letters, Vol. 10, No. 11, pp. B196-B200, 2007.
4. S. Litster, C.R. Buie, T. Fabian, J.K. Eaton and J.G.Santiago, “Active Water Management for PEM Fuel Cells,” Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 154, No. 10, pp. B1049-B1058, 2007.
5. R. O’Hayre, T. Fabian, S. Litster, F.B. Prinz, and J.G. Santiago,“Engineering Model of a Passive Planar Air Breathing Fuel Cell Cathode,” Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 167, No. 1, pp. 118-129, 2007.
6. S. Litster and N. Djilali, “Mathematical Modelling of Ambient Air-Breathing Fuel Cells for Portable Devices”, Electrochimica Acta, Vol. 52, No. 11, pp. 3849-3862, 2007.
7. S. Litster , J. Pharoah, G. McLean , N. Djilali, “Computational Analysis of Heat and Mass Transfer in a Micro-Structured PEMFC Cathode”, Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 156, No. 2, pp.334-344, 2006.
8. S. Litster , D. Sinton , N. Djilali, “Ex situ Visualization of Liquid Water Transport in PEM Fuel Cell Gas Diffusion Layers”, Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 154, No. 1, pp.95-105, March 2006.
9. S. Litster, J.G. Pharoah, and N. Djilali, “Convective Mass Transfer in Helical Pipes: Effect of Curvature and Torsion”, Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 42, No. 5, pp. 387-397, March 2006.10. S. Litster and G. McLean, “PEM fuel cell electrodes”, Journal of Power Sources,Vol. 130, No. 1-2, pp. 61-76, May 2004.