266564 Electron-Beam Lithography Patterned Nafion Membranes for DMFC Applications

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 3:15 PM
317 (Convention Center )
Ayokunle Omosebi, Chemical Engineering and Material Science, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ and Ronald S. Besser, Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

The advent of the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) as an alternative to currently-in-use power generation devices has been forestalled by the cost of materials used in its construction and performance losses. The loss in performance results primarily from anode-to-cathode methanol crossover and the slow reaction kinetics of both methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction at the anode and cathode respectively. New materials like sulfonated poly ether ether ketone (SPEEK) and sulfonated poly sulfone (SPSf) which exhibit lower methanol crossover are being investigated as Nafion replacements for the construction of the DMFC. At present, these innovations have resulted in a tradeoff between methanol permeation and ionic conductivity. In order to maximize the utilization of the loaded catalyst, the reaction zone should be maximized without increasing transport resistance for reactants accessing the reaction plane. To achieve this objective, the membrane-electrode interface could be restructured to possess a larger interfacial area by creating features on the Nafion membrane. We recently demonstrated the use of electron beam lithography coupled with dry etching strategies for the nano/micro-patterning of Nafion membranes. EBL provides a convenient tool for nano/micro pattern creation in Nafion. In this communication we present the performance evaluation of the electron beam patterned membranes for DMFC applications.

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See more of this Session: Electrocatalysis for PEM Fuel Cells III
See more of this Group/Topical: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division