Current Applied Physics, Vol.18, No.6, 728-736, 2018
Electrospray-assisted fabrication of porous platinum-carbon composite thin layers for enhancing the electrochemical performance of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells
Membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have been fabricated using electrospray-assisted deposition of platinum-carbon composites on carbon-fiber-based paper substrate, because the technique is versatile, operated in atmospheric pressure, and easy to scale up for commercialization. In this study, we investigate the effects of electrospray-assisted platinum loadings from 0.1 to 0.5 mg cm(-2) on the electrochemical performance of PEMFCs. The PEMFCs with platinum loading of 0.3 mg cm(-2) generate the highest power density, which is similar to 35% higher than that of PEMFCs fabricated by traditional brush-deposited catalyst layers. Relatively high platinum loading (> 0.3 mg cm(-2)) enhances the pressure drop in MEA; therefore, the resulting power density is decreased due to low-reacting gas permeability. We also examine the effect of porous structures on the electrochemical performance of PEMFCs. Brij 58-based surfactant templates create micro-and nano-porous structures in the platinum-carbon composite thin layers via thermal removal. These porous structures in the platinum-carbon composite thin layers increase the reacting gas permeability and simultaneously lower the cell resistance, significantly enhancing the electrochemical performance of PEMFCs with porous structures. (C) 2018 Korean Physical Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.