Effect of surface modification for the growth of multi-walled carbon nanotubes on carbon paper for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

R. Aparna, L. Munukutla, Arunachala Mada Kannan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Gas Diffusion Layers (GDL) were fabricated with carbon paper substrate and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) grown in situ as microporous layer by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. In order to nucleate, various nano-oxides viz., aerosil-380, hydrophilic silica, hydrophobic silica, Al 2O 3 and a mixed oxide (Al 2O 3 and SiO 2) and TiO 2 were evaluated for optimum growth of MWCNTs. The GDL samples with the MWCNTs were characterized by surface morphology, and wetting characteristics using a scanning electron microscope and goniometer, respectively. Pt nanocatalyst was deposited on the MWCNTs both for anode and cathode. The fuel cell performance of the Pt/MWCNTs/carbon paper cathodes was evaluated by using PEMFC with H 2/O 2 and H 2/air, at 80°C and at different RH conditions using Nafion-212 electrolyte. Al 2O 3 led to homogenous growth of MWCNTs and the GDL exhibited the maximum performance. The in-situ Pt/CNT/carbon paper electrodes showed 1 and 0.5 W.cm -2 with H 2/O 2 and H 2/air, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationECS Transactions
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2010
Event2009 Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition - Palm Springs, CA, United States
Duration: Nov 16 2009Nov 20 2009


Other2009 Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CityPalm Springs, CA


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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