Surface-modified Nafion membrane by trioctylphosphine-stabilized palladium nanoparticles for DMFC applications

Ai Hua Tian, Ji Young Kim, Jin Yi Shi, Kwangyeol Lee, Keon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Trioctylphosphine (TOP)/Pd composites have been synthesized and used as a methanol-barrier material to modify the surface of Nafion 115. The TOP/Pd composites have been applied to the surface of Nafion instead of being incorporated into the Nafion matrix, to provide the best chance of maintaining the inherent proton conductivity of Nafion. The properties of the TOP/Pd-modified membrane, in terms of its conductivity and methanol permeability, as well as the performance of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), have been analyzed and compared with those of bare Nafion. The DMFC performance of the TOP/Pd-modified membrane is somewhat better than that of the bare Nafion one at methanol concentration of 2 M and significantly better at a high concentration of 5 M. The TOP/Pd-modified membrane is able to operate the DMFC using a high concentration of methanol, which can satisfy the requirement to reduce the reactant volumes for portable applications as well as to achieve high performance. In contrast to bare Nafion, the TOP/Pd-modified membrane with its well-adhering and crack-free modified surface shows effect on reducing the methanol loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1207-1212
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Prof. Dr Burkhardt Seifert and Dr Sarah R. Haile [Division of Biostatistics, University of Zurich] for the statistics support and advice. We also thank Dr Klaus Seuwen, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research [NIBR], Basel, Switzerland, for his critical comments and valuable suggestions as well as for providing the Gpr4 KO mice. Parts of the study were presented at the Digestive Disease Week [DDW] 2011 [Chicago, IL] and DDW 2012 [San Diego, CA], and the Annual Meeting of the Swiss Physiological Society and Young Investigator Award 2012 [Fribourg, Switzerland]. This work was supported by a collaborative grant for the Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology [ZIHP] to AWr, OB, GR, and CAW, and by grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation to CAW [31003A_155959/1] and GR [153380 and 148422]. PHIS has been a recipient of a fellowship from the IKPP Kidney C H under the European Unions Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under the grant agreement no 608847, and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico [CNPq] grant number 205625/2014-2.


  • A. Surfaces
  • A. Thin films
  • B. Chemical synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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