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Riverside, CA, United States

Li W.,Center for Environmental Research Technology | Waje M.,Center for Environmental Research Technology | Chen Z.,Center for Environmental Research Technology | Larsen P.,Center for Environmental Research Technology | Yan Y.,Center for Environmental Research Technology
Carbon | Year: 2010

Inexpensive stacked-cup carbon nanofibers (SC-CNFs) supported Pt nanoparticles with a loading from 5 to 30 wt.% were prepared through a modified ethylene glycol method. XRD and TEM characterizations show that the average Pt particle sizes increase with increasing metal loading, and they can be controlled <5 nm with a uniform dispersion. A self-developed filtration process was employed to fabricate Pt/SC-CNFs film-based membrane electrode assembly (MEA), and the catalyst transfer efficiency can reach nearly 100% using a super-hydrophobic polycarbonate filter. The thickness of catalyst layer can be accurately controlled through altering Pt loadings of the catalyst and electrode, this is in good agreement with our theoretical calculation. For Pt/SC-CNFs-based-MEAs, Pt cathode loading was found more critical than Pt anode loading on proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performance. The Pt/SC-CNFs-based MEA with an optimized 50 wt.% Nafion content demonstrates higher PEMFC performance than the carbon black-based MEA with an optimized 30 wt.% Nafion content. SC-CNFs possess much larger length-to-diameter ratio than carbon black particles, it makes Pt/SC-CNFs more easily form continuously conductive networks in the Nafion matrix than carbon black. Therefore, the Pt/SC-CNFs-based MEA demonstrates higher Pt utilization than carbon black-based MEA, which implies possible reduction in Pt loading of MEA. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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