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Membranes 2012, 2(4), 841-854; doi:10.3390/membranes2040841
Article

A Study of the Effect of Heat-Treatment on the Morphology of Nafion Ionomer Dispersion for Use in the Passive Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)

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Received: 14 November 2012; Accepted: 26 November 2012 / Published: 6 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Processes and Energy)
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Abstract: Aggregation in heat-treated Nafion ionomer dispersion and 117 membrane are investigated by 1H and 19F Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectra, spin-lattice relaxation time, and self-diffusion coefficient measurements. Results demonstrate that heat-treatment affects the average Nafion particle size in aqueous dispersions. Measurements on heat-treated Nafion 117 membrane show changes in the 1H isotropic chemical shift and no significant changes in ionic conductivity. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of prepared cathode catalyst layer containing the heat-treated dispersions reveals that the surface of the electrode with the catalyst ink that has been pretreated at ca. 80 °C exhibits a compact and uniform morphology. The decrease of Nafion ionomer’s size results in better contact between catalyst particles and electrolyte, higher electrochemically active surface area, as well as significant improvement in the DMFC’s performance, as verified by electrochemical analysis and single cell evaluation.
Keywords: Nafion ionomer; aggregation; membrane electrode assembly; catalyst utilization; direct methanol fuel cell; NMR; viscosity Nafion ionomer; aggregation; membrane electrode assembly; catalyst utilization; direct methanol fuel cell; NMR; viscosity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yuan, T.; Zhang, H.; Zou, Z.; Khatun, S.; Akins, D.; Adam, Y.; Suarez, S. A Study of the Effect of Heat-Treatment on the Morphology of Nafion Ionomer Dispersion for Use in the Passive Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC). Membranes 2012, 2, 841-854.

AMA Style

Yuan T, Zhang H, Zou Z, Khatun S, Akins D, Adam Y, Suarez S. A Study of the Effect of Heat-Treatment on the Morphology of Nafion Ionomer Dispersion for Use in the Passive Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC). Membranes. 2012; 2(4):841-854.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yuan, Ting; Zhang, Haifeng; Zou, Zhiqing; Khatun, Sufia; Akins, Daniel; Adam, Yara; Suarez, Sophia. 2012. "A Study of the Effect of Heat-Treatment on the Morphology of Nafion Ionomer Dispersion for Use in the Passive Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)." Membranes 2, no. 4: 841-854.


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