The electrode ionomer is a key factor that significantly affects the catalyst layer morphology and fuel cell performance. Herein, sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)-based electrode ionomers with polymers of various molecular weights and alcohol/water mixtures were prepared, and those comprising the alcohol/water mixture showed a higher performance than the ones prepared using higher boiling solvents, such as dimethylacetamide; this is owing to the formation of the uniformly dispersed ionomer catalyst layer. The relation between ionomer molecular weight for the same polymer structure and the sulfonation degree was investigated. Because the chain length of polymer varies with molecular weight and chain entanglement degree, its molecular weight affects the electrode morphology. As the ionomer covered the catalyst, the agglomerates formed were of different morphologies according to their molecular weight, which could be deduced indirectly through dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy. Additionally, the fuel cell performance was confirmed in the current-voltage curve.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partially supported by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Institutional Program ( 2E30380 ) and partially supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (Grant No. 2015M 1A2A2058015 and 2016M 1A2A2937136 ).
© 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC
- Hydrocarbon-based electrode ionomer
- Membrane-electrode assembly
- Polymer electrolyte
- Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
- Sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology