Characterization of ionomer properties of the catalyst layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) Year Two

The state-of-the-art polymer electrolyte fuel cells have catalyst layers (CLs) made of Platinum catalyst on carbon support (Pt/C) bound together by proton-conducting polymer or ionomer. To overcome the challenges of high cost of Platinum catalyst ad corrosion of carbon support, alternative materials for catalyst and catalyst support are being considered. The interaction of ionomer with catalyst and its support materials controls two factors that profoundly affects the CL performance -(i) the micro-scale structure of the CL and (ii) ionomer properties in the catalyst layer.