Novel polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Zhou, Zhilian
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry
  • Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) for fuel cells have been synthesized from easily processable, 100% curable, low molecular weight reactive liquid precursors that are photo-chemically cured into highly proton conductive solid membranes. The liquid precursors were directly cured into membranes of desired dimensions without the need for further processing steps such as melt extrusion or solvent casting. By employing chemical cross-linking, high proton conductivities can be achieved through the incorporation of significant levels of acidic groups without rendering the material water soluble, which plagues commonly used uncross-linked polymers. Fabrication of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) from these PEMs resulted in fuel cells that outperformed those based on commercial materials. Moreover, these liquid precursors enabled the formation of 3- dimensional, patterned PEMs with high fidelity, micron scale features by using soft lithographic/micro-molding techniques. The patterned membranes provided larger interfacial area between the membrane and catalyst layer than standard flat PEMs. MEAs composed of the patterned membranes demonstrated higher power densities over that of flat ones without an increase in the geometric volume of the fuel cells. This can potentially miniaturize fuel cells and promote their application in portable devices.
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  • In Copyright
  • DeSimone, Joseph M.
  • Open access

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