Nafion membranes with a porous surface

Quoc Khanh Dang, Dirk Henkensmeier, N. Nambi Krishnan, Jong Hyun Jang, Hyoung Juhn Kim, Suk Woo Nam, Tae Hoon Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Nafion membranes with a monolayer of pores on one surface (P-Nafion) were prepared by casting a Nafion SE20092 dispersion containing ortho-dichlorobenzene. The pores are not connected but provide 2μm large openings, increasing the membrane surface by one dimension. The thickness of the porous layer is typically <5μm. In catalyst coated membranes the catalyst layer penetrated the pores well. The effect on the performance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) was investigated at 95°C. The porous layer formed the cathode, to enhance water back diffusion. After 24h equilibration, 30-35μm thick P-Nafion gave 10-16% higher current density, reaching 858mA/cm2 at 0.4V and 50% rh. N211 and P-Nafion equilibrated for 8min showed peak power densities of 56 and 208mW/cm2 under anhydrous conditions, respectively, indicating that drying processes are slowed down. The stability of a MEA was tested for 240h at 0.4V and 50% rh (anode/cathode), without observable degradation. Under fully humidified conditions, the electrochemical surface area (ECSA) increased 40% in comparison to a N211 based MEA. At 65°C, the ECSA more than doubled, showing 141m2/g Pt. Also influence of the pores on water transport through a membrane and stability against membrane-electrode delamination were considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 15


  • Fuel cells
  • Hierarchical structures
  • Nafion membranes
  • Porous surfaces
  • Water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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