Effect of surface hydrophilicity on the formation of Nafion thin films inside PEMFC catalyst layers: A computational study

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1149/04523.0101ecst
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TypeArticle
Proceedings titleECS Transactions
ConferenceSymposium on Fuel Cell Membranes, Electrode Binders, and MEA Performance - 221st ECS Meeting, 6 May 2012 through 10 May 2012, Seattle, WA
ISSN1938-5862
ISBN9781623320423
Volume45
Issue23
Pages101108; # of pages: 8
SubjectComputational studies; Continuous surface; Electrochemical activities; Perfluorosulfonic acid; Structural formation; Surface hydrophilicity; Transport phenomena; Water distributions; Binders; Catalyst activity; Computer simulation; Hydrophilicity; Molecular dynamics; Polymers; Ultrathin films; Water supply systems; Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
AbstractStructure of Nafion inside Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) catalyst layers is suspected to have a significant impact on the electrochemical activity and transport phenomena that determine the overall cell performances. In those regions, Nafion can be found as an ultra-thin film, coating the catalyst and the catalyst support surfaces. The impact of the hydrophilic character of these surfaces on the structural formation of the films has not been explored in details yet. Here, we report about our Molecular Dynamic computer simulations studies of the formation of Nafion thin films in contact with unstructured continuous surfaces, characterized by their global wetting properties only. We investigate changes of morphology and nanostructure of the perfluorosulfonic acid polymer as a result of water and polymersurface affinities. Charge and water distributions are also analyzed. Possible impact of Nafion thin film self-assembly on the actual activity properties of realistic catalysts layers is shortly discussed. © The Electrochemical Society.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (IFCI-IIPC)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269788
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Record identifier5158d962-a03f-49ff-bb9c-91452facc81e
Record created2013-12-13
Record modified2016-05-09
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