Low energy plasma treatment of Nafion (R) membranes for PEM fuel cells

Ramdutt, Devin, Charles, Christine, Hudspeth, Jessica, Ladewig, Bradley, Gengenbach, Thomas, Boswell, Rob, Dicks, Andrew and Brault, Pascal (2007) Low energy plasma treatment of Nafion (R) membranes for PEM fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources, 165 1: 41-48. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2006.11.078

Author Ramdutt, Devin
Charles, Christine
Hudspeth, Jessica
Ladewig, Bradley
Gengenbach, Thomas
Boswell, Rob
Dicks, Andrew
Brault, Pascal
Title Low energy plasma treatment of Nafion (R) membranes for PEM fuel cells
Formatted title
Low energy plasma treatment of Nafion® membranes for PEM fuel cells
Journal name Journal of Power Sources   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-7753
Publication date 2007-02-25
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2006.11.078
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 165
Issue 1
Start page 41
End page 48
Total pages 8
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier Science Bv
Language eng
Subject 291804 Nanotechnology
660501 Energy transformation
Abstract Understanding the effects plasmas have on polymer electrolyte membranes such as Nafion is important if plasma technologies are to be employed in the fabrication of MEA components. An argon plasma has been used to treat the surface of Nation membranes at several energy doses from 0 to 3.056 J cm(-2). The effect of the treatment has been characterised using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) as well as measuring water contact angles, proton conductivity and electrical performance. It was found that as energy dose is increased, hydrophobicity of the membrane decreases, as does proton conductivity. The water contact angle for untreated Nafion is around 120 degrees while the surface treated with the maximum dose has a contact angle of 50 degrees. Similarly the proton conductivity drops from above 200 to 35.8 mS cm(-1). SEM and AFM results showed only a small change in the surface roughness of the treated samples while XPS results indicated a marked reduction in the concentration of fluorine at the surface of the membrane for increasing dose. Fuel cell electrical performance was also very poor for the treated membranes and this was attributed to the decrease in conductivity as well as an observed poor adherence between electrode and membrane in the pressed MEA. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Electrochemistry
Energy & Fuels
fuel cells
plasma modification
Polymer Electrolyte Membrane
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Tue, 19 Feb 2008, 02:41:08 EST