The catalyst layers for polymer-electrolyte-membrane (PEM) fuel cells were fabricated by deposition of platinum directly onto the gas diffusion layer using pulsed laser deposition (PLD). This technique reduced the number of steps required to synthesize the catalyst layers and the amount of Pt loading required. PEM fuel cells with various Pt loadings for the cathode were investigated. With a cathode Pt loading of 100
, the current density of a single cell reached 1205 mA·cm
at 0.6 V, which was close to that of a single cell using an E-TEK (trademark) Pt/C electrode with a cathode Pt loading of 400
. Furthermore, for a PEM fuel cell with both electrodes prepared by PLD and a total anode and cathode Pt loading of 117
, the overall Pt mass-specific power density at 0.6 V reached 7.43 kW·g
, which was five times that of a fuel cell with E-TEK Pt/C electrodes. The high mass-specific power density was due to that a very thin nanoporous Pt layer was deposited directly onto the gas diffusion layer, which made good contact with the Nafion membrane and thus resulted in a low-resistance membrane electrode assembly.
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