Journal Article Water Transport and PEFC Performance with Different Interface Structure between Micro-Porous Layer and Catalyst Layer

Aoyama, Yusuke  ,  Suzuki, Kengo  ,  Tabe, Yutaka  ,  Chikahisa, Takemi  ,  Tanuma, Toshihiro

163 ( 5 )  , pp.F359 - F366 , 2016-04-14 , The Electrochemical Society (ECS)
For interfaces between micro-porous layers (MPL) and catalyst layers (CL) made by the gas diffusion electrode (GDE) method, a seamless interface without gaps, shows better performance than that of cells with an interface made by the decal transfer method. With the decal transfer method, the MPL is simply hot-pressed to the CL-membrane assembly. This study investigates the effect of interface structure on cell performance and water transport in the MPL. Water distribution in cross sections of multiple layers were observed by a freezing method, where the cell is cooled below freezing temperature in short time and the water was observed in ice form by Cryo-SEM. The results show that a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) using the GDE method improves cell performance at high current densities. Direct observations by the freezing method and cryo-SEM show that there is no water accumulation at the MPL/CL interface made by the GDE method, while water accumulates at the interface made by the decal method. Other observations show that the water amount inside the MPL increases similarly in the two types of MEA when lowering the temperature, and the difference between the two types of MEA was only the water amount in the interface.

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