Plasma-Polymerized Proton-Conducting Membranes for Reducing Methanol Permeation in DMFCs

[+] Author and Article Information
D. Gruber

Department of Micro Systems Technology,  Hamburg University of Technology, D-21071 Hamburg, Germanyd.gruber@tuhh.de

N. Ponath, J. Müller

Department of Micro Systems Technology,  Hamburg University of Technology, D-21071 Hamburg, Germany

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 2(3), 186-189 (Mar 08, 2005) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1928927 History: Received March 16, 2004; Revised March 08, 2005

A plasma polymerization process for preparing proton-conducting electrolyte membranes from tetrafluoroethylene and water is presented. They can be deposited on different substrates, e.g., gas diffusion layers or as barrier layers on other polymer electrolyte membranes. An advantage of the plasma-polymerized membranes is their lower methanol permeability due to their highly cross-linked structure. Methanol permeation measurements with 3M methanol solution exhibit methanol permeabilities which are by an order of a magnitude less than for Nafion® 115. The proton conductivity of the plasma-polymerized membranes varies from 10to160mScm depending on deposition parameters.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Scheme of the plasma polymerization reactor

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Figure 2

Proton conductivity for two TFE∕H2O membranes plasma polymerized at 100W, 5Pa, 20sccm TFE flow and 200W, 10Pa, 40sccm TFE flow. H2O flow is 3.3g∕h for both samples.

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Figure 3

Measurement assembly for the methanol permeability measurements

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Figure 4

Methanol permeability versus TFE∕H2O-layer thickness on Nafion® 115 or TE35 substrates using 3M methanol solution at room temperature (inset shows enlargement of permeability for Nafion® 115).

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Figure 5

Temperature dependence of the permeability for 3M methanol. Graphic for Nafion® 115 without and with 4.3μm plasma-polymerized TFE∕H2O layer.



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