Journal Article Modification for Uniform Surface of Nafion Ultra-thin Film Deposited by Inkjet Printing

Guo, Yanglu  ,  Ono, Yutaro  ,  Nagao, Yuki

31 ( 37 )  , pp.10137 - 10144 , 2015-09-01 , American Chemical Society
A lack of knowledge about the features of Nafion confined to ultra-thin films at the interface has motivated additional examinations to promote the performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In this work, we demonstrated the utilization of practical film-forming technique inkjet printing to fabricate a Nafion ultra-thin film less than 10nm thickness. However, the well-known “coffee-ring” effect caused poor quality of the printed pattern, which has restricted its application. This report describes a systematic investigation of necessary parameters such as ink concentration, substrate type, pitch, and offset for printing processes. Furthermore, post-treatment in an ethanol vapor atmosphere exhibited a significant effect on flattening and homogenizing the film surface morphology. Results show that the well-distributed Nafion ultra-thin film modified by ethanol vapor annealing manifested much-improved proton conductivity.

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