Development of carbon nanotubes based gas diffusion layers by in situ chemical vapor deposition process for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Arunachala Mada Kannan, P. Kanagala, V. Veedu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

A proprietary in situ chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process was developed for gas diffusion layer (GDL) by growing a micro-porous layer on the macro-porous, non-woven fibrous carbon paper. The characteristics of the GDL samples such as, surface morphology, wetting characteristics, and cross-section were characterized using electron microscopes, goniometer and focused ion beam, respectively. Fuel cell performance of the GDLs was evaluated using single cell with hydrogen/oxygen as well as hydrogen/air at ambient pressure, at elevated temperature and various RH conditions using Nafion-212 as an electrolyte. The GDLs with in situ growth of micro-porous layers containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) without any hydrophobic agent showed significant improvement in mechanical robustness as well as fuel cell performance at elevated temperature at lower RH conditions. The micro-porous layer of the GDLs as seen under scanning electron microscope showed excellent surface morphology with surface homogeneity through reinforcement by the multi-walled CNTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume192
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2009

Keywords

  • Carbon paper
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • In situ carbon nanotubes
  • PEM fuel cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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