ACS Publications. Most Trusted. Most Cited. Most Read
My Activity
CONTENT TYPES

Figure 1Loading Img
RETURN TO ISSUEPREVResearch ArticleNEXT

Effect of Water Sorption on the Electronic Conductivity of Porous Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers

View Author Information
Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University, H3A 2B2 Montreal, Québec, Canada
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2014, 6, 21, 18609–18618
Publication Date (Web):October 2, 2014
https://doi.org/10.1021/am503509j
Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society

    Article Views

    1175

    Altmetric

    -

    Citations

    LEARN ABOUT THESE METRICS
    Other access options

    Abstract

    Abstract Image

    A method is described for measuring the effective electronic conductivity of porous fuel cell catalyst layers (CLs) as a function of relative humidity (RH). Four formulations of CLs with different carbon black (CB) contents and ionomer equivalent weights (EWs) were tested. The van der Pauw method was used to measure the sheet resistance (RS), which increased with RH for all samples. The increase was attributed to ionomer swelling upon water uptake, which affects the connectivity of CB aggregates. Greater increases in RS were observed for samples with lower EW, which uptake more water on a mass basis per mass ionomer. Transient RS measurements were taken during absorption and desorption, and the resistance kinetics were fit using a double exponential decay model. No hysteresis was observed, and the absorption and desorption kinetics were virtually symmetric. Thickness measurements were attempted at different RHs, but no discernible changes were observed. This finding led to the conclusion that the conducting Pt/C volume fraction does not change with RH, which suggests that effective medium theory models that depend on volume fraction alone cannot explain the reduction in conductivity with RH. The merits of percolation-based models were discussed. Optical micrographs revealed an extensive network of “mud cracks” in some samples. The influence of water sorption on CL conductivity is primarily explained by ionomer swelling, and its effects on the quantity and quality of interaggregate contacts were discussed.

    Read this article

    To access this article, please review the available access options below.

    Get instant access

    Purchase Access

    Read this article for 48 hours. Check out below using your ACS ID or as a guest.

    Recommended

    Access through Your Institution

    You may have access to this article through your institution.

    Your institution does not have access to this content. You can change your affiliated institution below.

    Cited By

    This article is cited by 42 publications.

    1. Ye Liu, Ningran Wu, Haiou Zeng, Dandan Hou, Shengping Zhang, Yue Qi, Ruizhi Yang, Luda Wang. Slip-Enhanced Transport by Graphene in the Microporous Layer for High Power Density Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2023, 14 (35) , 7883-7891. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.3c01661
    2. Seonghun Cho, Kayoko Tamoto, Makoto Uchida. Effect of an Electrospray-Generated Ionomer Morphology on Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Performance. Energy & Fuels 2020, 34 (11) , 14853-14863. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.0c02337
    3. Manas Mandal, Michael Moore, Marc Secanell. Measurement of the Protonic and Electronic Conductivities of PEM Water Electrolyzer Electrodes. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2020, 12 (44) , 49549-49562. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c12111
    4. Isaac Martens, Blaise A. Pinaud, Laurie Baxter, David P. Wilkinson, and Dan Bizzotto . Controlling Nanoparticle Interconnectivity in Thin-Film Platinum Catalyst Layers. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016, 120 (38) , 21364-21372. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b04952
    5. Maximilian Schalenbach, Marcel Zillgitt, Wiebke Maier, and Detlef Stolten . Parasitic Currents Caused by Different Ionic and Electronic Conductivities in Fuel Cell Anodes. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015, 7 (29) , 15746-15751. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.5b02182
    6. Jaewook Lee, Suresh Mulmi, Venkataraman Thangadurai, and Simon S. Park . Magnetically Aligned Iron Oxide/Gold Nanoparticle-Decorated Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Structure as a Humidity Sensor. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015, 7 (28) , 15506-15513. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.5b03862
    7. W. Peter Kalisvaart, Helmut Fritzsche, and Walter Mérida . Water Uptake and Swelling Hysteresis in a Nafion Thin Film Measured with Neutron Reflectometry. Langmuir 2015, 31 (19) , 5416-5422. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b00764
    8. Eduardo José-Trujillo, Carlos Rubio-González, Julio Alejandro Rodríguez-González. Evaluation of the Piezoresistive Response of GFRP with a Combination of MWCNT and GNP Exposed to Seawater Aging. Applied Composite Materials 2024, 31 (2) , 467-488. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10443-023-10175-z
    9. Kang Ye, Yuqi Zhang, Stefanos Mourdikoudis, Yunpeng Zuo, Jiangong Liang, Mengye Wang. Application of Oxygen‐Group‐Based Amorphous Nanomaterials in Electrocatalytic Water Splitting. Small 2023, 19 (42) https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202302341
    10. Jason Pfeilsticker, Carlos Baez‐Cotto, Michael Ulsh, Scott Mauger. Crack detection in fuel cell electrodes using a spatial filtering technique for overcoming noisy backgrounds. Fuel Cells 2023, 23 (5) , 353-362. https://doi.org/10.1002/fuce.202200070
    11. Yan-Sheng Li, Davide Menga, Hubert A. Gasteiger, Bharatkumar Suthar. Design of PGM-Free Cathode Catalyst Layers for PEMFC Applications: The Impact of Electronic Conductivity. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2023, 170 (9) , 094503. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/acf1d3
    12. Mingyang Yang, Song Yan, Aimin Du, Jinling Liu, Sichuan Xu. Effect of micro-cracks on the in-plane electronic conductivity of proton exchange membrane fuel cell catalyst layers based on lattice Boltzmann method. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2022, 47 (94) , 39961-39972. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2022.09.142
    13. M. Prokop, P. Capek, M. Vesely, M. Paidar, K. Bouzek. High-temperature PEM fuel cell electrode catalyst layers Part 2: Experimental validation of its effective transport properties. Electrochimica Acta 2022, 413 , 140121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2022.140121
    14. Luca Bohn, Miriam von Holst, Edgar Cruz Ortiz, Matthias Breitwieser, Severin Vierrath, Carolin Klose. Methods— A Simple Method to Measure In-Plane Electrical Resistance of PEM Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Catalyst Layers. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2022, 169 (5) , 054518. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ac6e09
    15. Marc Secanell, Jeff Gostick, Pablo A. Garcia-Salaberri. Porous Electrode Components in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers. 2022, 290-298. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-819723-3.00113-X
    16. Arturo Sánchez-Ramos, Jeff T. Gostick, Pablo A. García-Salaberri. Modeling the Effect of Low Pt loading Cathode Catalyst Layer in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells: Part I. Model Formulation and Validation. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2021, 168 (12) , 124514. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ac4456
    17. Liberata Guadagno, Luigi Vertuccio. Resistive Response of Carbon Nanotube-Based Composites Subjected to Water Aging. Nanomaterials 2021, 11 (9) , 2183. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11092183
    18. Jae-Bum Pyo, Sangmin Lee, Taek-Soo Kim. Intrinsic swelling behavior of free-standing nanoporous ionomer-bound carbon films. Polymer Testing 2021, 100 , 107241. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymertesting.2021.107241
    19. Andrei Kulikovsky. Analysis of proton and electron transport impedance of a PEM fuel cell in H2/N2 regime. Electrochemical Science Advances 2021, 1 (2) https://doi.org/10.1002/elsa.202000023
    20. Qianqian Wang, Fumin Tang, Bing Li, Haifeng Dai, Jim P. Zheng, Cunman Zhang, Pingwen Ming. Numerical analysis of static and dynamic heat transfer behaviors inside proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Journal of Power Sources 2021, 488 , 229419. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2020.229419
    21. A. Kosakian, M. Secanell. Estimating charge-transport properties of fuel-cell and electrolyzer catalyst layers via electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Electrochimica Acta 2021, 367 , 137521. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2020.137521
    22. Jae-Bum Pyo, Ji Hun Kim, Taek-Soo Kim. Highly robust nanostructured carbon films by thermal reconfiguration of ionomer binding. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2020, 8 (46) , 24763-24773. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0TA07861A
    23. Jun Huang, Yu Gao, Jin Luo, Shangshang Wang, Chenkun Li, Shengli Chen, Jianbo Zhang. Editors’ Choice—Review—Impedance Response of Porous Electrodes: Theoretical Framework, Physical Models and Applications. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2020, 167 (16) , 166503. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/abc655
    24. Edmund J. F. Dickinson, Graham Smith. Modelling the Proton-Conductive Membrane in Practical Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Simulation: A Review. Membranes 2020, 10 (11) , 310. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10110310
    25. Navneet Goswami, Aashutosh N. Mistry, Jonathan B. Grunewald, Thomas F. Fuller, Partha P. Mukherjee. Corrosion-Induced Microstructural Variability Affects Transport-Kinetics Interaction in PEM Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2020, 167 (8) , 084519. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ab927c
    26. Yan Yin, Ruitao Li, Fuqiang Bai, Weikang Zhu, Yanzhou Qin, Yafei Chang, Junfeng Zhang, Michael D. Guiver. Ionomer migration within PEMFC catalyst layers induced by humidity changes. Electrochemistry Communications 2019, 109 , 106590. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elecom.2019.106590
    27. M. Ahadi, J. Jankovic, M. Tam, B. Zahiri, M. S. Saha, J. Stumper, M. Bahrami. Characterization of Thermal and Electronic Conductivities of Catalyst Layers of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells. Fuel Cells 2019, 19 (5) , 550-560. https://doi.org/10.1002/fuce.201800173
    28. Anna Ostroverkh, Viktor Johánek, Martin Dubau, Peter Kúš, Ivan Khalakhan, Břetislav Šmíd, Roman Fiala, Michal Václavů, Yevhenii Ostroverkh, Vladimír Matolín. Optimization of ionomer-free ultra-low loading Pt catalyst for anode/cathode of PEMFC via magnetron sputtering. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2019, 44 (35) , 19344-19356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2018.12.206
    29. T. G. Tranter, M. Tam, J. T. Gostick. The Effect of Cracks on the In‐plane Electrical Conductivity of PEFC Catalyst Layers. Electroanalysis 2019, 31 (4) , 619-623. https://doi.org/10.1002/elan.201800553
    30. Haipo Dai, Nana Feng, Jiwei Li, Jie Zhang, Wei Li. Chemiresistive humidity sensor based on chitosan/zinc oxide/single-walled carbon nanotube composite film. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 2019, 283 , 786-792. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.snb.2018.12.056
    31. Mohammad Ahadi, Mickey Tam, Jürgen Stumper, Majid Bahrami. Electronic conductivity of catalyst layers of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells: Through-plane vs. in-plane. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2019, 44 (7) , 3603-3614. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2018.12.016
    32. M. Secanell, A. Jarauta, A. Kosakian, M. Sabharwal, J. Zhou. PEM Fuel Cells: Modeling. 2019, 235-293. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7789-5_1019
    33. Zhengyuan Fang, Andrew G. Star, Thomas F. Fuller. Effect of Carbon Corrosion on Wettability of PEM Fuel Cell Electrodes. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2019, 166 (12) , F709-F715. https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0231912jes
    34. Tobias Schuler, Thomas J. Schmidt, Felix N. Büchi. Polymer Electrolyte Water Electrolysis: Correlating Performance and Porous Transport Layer Structure: Part II. Electrochemical Performance Analysis. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2019, 166 (10) , F555-F565. https://doi.org/10.1149/2.1241908jes
    35. M.P. Arcot, K. Zheng, J. McGrory, M.W. Fowler, M.D. Pritzker. Investigation of catalyst layer defects in catalyst-coated membrane for PEMFC application: Non-destructive method. International Journal of Energy Research 2018, 42 (11) , 3615-3632. https://doi.org/10.1002/er.4107
    36. Maximilian Schalenbach, Aleksandar R. Zeradjanin, Olga Kasian, Serhiy Cherevko, Karl J.J. Mayrhofer. A Perspective on Low-Temperature Water Electrolysis – Challenges in Alkaline and Acidic Technology. International Journal of Electrochemical Science 2018, 13 (2) , 1173-1226. https://doi.org/10.20964/2018.02.26
    37. T. Morawietz, M. Handl, C. Oldani, P. Gazdzicki, Jürgen Hunger, Florian Wilhelm, John Blake, K. A. Friedrich, R. Hiesgen. High-Resolution Analysis of Ionomer Loss in Catalytic Layers after Operation. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2018, 165 (6) , F3139-F3147. https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0151806jes
    38. Andrei Kulikovsky. A model for impedance of a PEM fuel cell cathode with poor electron conductivity. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2017, 801 , 122-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jelechem.2017.07.038
    39. M. Secanell, A. Jarauta, A. Kosakian, M. Sabharwal, J. Zhou. PEM Fuel Cells, Modeling. 2017, 1-61. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2493-6_1019-1
    40. Daniel Malko, Thiago Lopes, Edson A. Ticianelli, Anthony Kucernak. A catalyst layer optimisation approach using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for PEM fuel cells operated with pyrolysed transition metal-N-C catalysts. Journal of Power Sources 2016, 323 , 189-200. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.05.035
    41. Zhi Long, Guangrong Deng, Changpeng Liu, Junjie Ge, Wei Xing, Shuhua Ma. Cathode catalytic dependency behavior on ionomer content in direct methanol fuel cells. Chinese Journal of Catalysis 2016, 37 (7) , 988-993. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1872-2067(16)62481-6
    42. Sebastian Prass, Sadegh Hasanpour, Pradeep Kumar Sow, André B. Phillion, Walter Mérida. Microscale X-ray tomographic investigation of the interfacial morphology between the catalyst and micro porous layers in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources 2016, 319 , 82-89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.04.031

    Pair your accounts.

    Export articles to Mendeley

    Get article recommendations from ACS based on references in your Mendeley library.

    Pair your accounts.

    Export articles to Mendeley

    Get article recommendations from ACS based on references in your Mendeley library.

    You’ve supercharged your research process with ACS and Mendeley!

    STEP 1:
    Click to create an ACS ID

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    MENDELEY PAIRING EXPIRED
    Your Mendeley pairing has expired. Please reconnect