Mussel-Inspired Polydopamine-Treated Reinforced Composite Membranes with Self-Supported CeOx Radical Scavengers for Highly Stable PEM Fuel Cells

Ki Ro Yoon, Kyung Ah Lee, Sunhee Jo, Seung Ho Yook, Kwan Young Lee, Il Doo Kim, Jin Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


The physical and chemical degradations of a state-of-the-art proton exchange membrane (PEM) composed of a perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) reinforcement are induced through the repeated expansion/shrinkage of the ionomer and free radical attacks. Such degradations essentially originate from the loose structure of the materials and the low interactive binding force among the PEM constituents. In this study, the need for simplified design principles of adhesives led to the use of mussel-inspired polydopamine (PD) as an interfacial modifier for the fabrication of highly durable PEM. Indeed, a self-polymerized dopamine layer acts as an interfacial glue, and enables efficient impregnation of a hydrophilic PFSA ionomer into porous hydrophobic PTFE with high packing density, resulting in strong adhesion between the PTFE and the PFSA polymers in the membrane. In addition, the redox property of the PD end groups spontaneously reduces the partial Ce salts in the ionomer solution and anchors them to the PD@PTFE substrate as defective cerium oxide (CeOx) nanoparticles, reducing the dissolution and subsequent migration under cell operations. Finally, a CePD@PTFE membrane shows outstanding durability in fuel cells under an accelerated humidity cycling test with a reduction in the degree of physical and chemical failures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1806929
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 17

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
K.R.Y. and K.A.L. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the KIST Institutional Programs (2E28271 and KIST Young Fellow). This work was supported by the Global Frontier R&D Program on Center for Multiscale Energy System funded by the Nation Research Foundation under the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning, Korea (2016M3A6A7945505), and the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, & Future Planning (NRF-2015M1A2A2056690). This research was also supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2018R1A6A3A01011591).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • cerium oxides
  • polydopamines
  • polymer exchange membrane fuel cells
  • radical scavengers
  • reinforced composite membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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