Effects of Sample Preparation Technique on Quantitative Analysis of Automotive Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers

Lis G. de A. Melo, Vincent Lee, Darija Susac, Viatcheslav Berejnov, Juergen Stumper, Gianluigi A. Botton, Adam P. Hitchcock
2014 Microscopy and Microanalysis  
Environmental concerns about carbon emissions are motivating development of Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM-FC) technology for automotive propulsion. Catalyst Coated Membranes (CCM), which are the electrochemical "heart" of PEM-FC, consist of a proton-conductive polymer membrane embedded between two porous, electron conductive electrodes. The catalyst in the cathode consists of Pt nanoparticles on a carbon support which are coated with a proton-conductive perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA)
more » ... fonic acid (PFSA) ionomer [1]. The oxygen reduction reaction occurs at the triple junction of these three components. One aspect needing improvement to achieve successful commercialization is a reduction of the rate of degradation of catalyst components with electrochemical cycling. Different microscopy techniques are helping optimize the system to improve durability of PEM-FC. However, sample preparation can affect the results of the microanalysis. In order to fully understand each component and how it degrades, it is important to understand and eliminate sample preparation artifacts. 472
doi:10.1017/s1431927614004085 fatcat:3mss3iarkvd6thkmzkr2grz7ce