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Degradation of Fuel Cell Materials Investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy

Hiesgen, Renate and Wehl, Ines and Schulze, Mathias and Haug, Andrea and Friedrich, K. Andreas and Wang, Haijiang and Yuan, Xia-Zi (2011) Degradation of Fuel Cell Materials Investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy. In: Proceedigs memory stick. European Fuel Cell Forum 2011, 28. Jun1 -1. Juli 2011, Luzern, Schweiz.

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In this contribution the ability of atomic force microscopy (AFM) for investigation of fuel cell components and determination of their degradation is demonstrated. In particular the mapping of adhesion force and dissipation energy of surfaces analyzed by an advanced material sensitive AFM technique - the HarmoniX™-mode (Bruker Corp.) - has been used as a measure for the relative polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) content of surfaces. Differently operated microporous layers (MPL) of commercial gas diffusion layers (GDL) have been investigated before and after operation and were compared to reference samples. The degradation of the cathode material compared to the anode was found to be higher. Another example for exploring the potential of AFM is the investigation of a cell with a segmented anode flow field. The relative change of surface properties at MPLs detected with AFM analysis was compared to the direct measurement of PTFE content by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR) and a good correlation of both results has been found for the analyzed segments. The ionically conductive structure of electrolyte membranes has also been investigated by conductive AFM in humid environment. High resolution images show an heterogeneous conductivity with non-conductive regions even after fuel cell operation. Sharply defined areas with same mean magnitude of current at the surface indicate the presence of an interpenetrating network of ionic channels connected beneath the surface. A correlation with surface properties measured by the PeakForce Quantitative Nanomechanical Property Mapping (QNM™) is observed.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/71422/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Degradation of Fuel Cell Materials Investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Hiesgen, RenateHochschule EsslingenUNSPECIFIED
Wehl, Inesines.wehl (at) hs-esslingen.deUNSPECIFIED
Schulze, Mathiasmathias.schulze (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Haug, Andreaandrea.haug (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Friedrich, K. Andreasandreas.friedrich (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wang, HaijiangNational Research Council CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Yuan, Xia-ZiNational Research Council CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Date:July 2011
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedigs memory stick
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Spirig, MichaelUNSPECIFIED
Bucheli, OlivierUNSPECIFIED
Keywords:fuel cell membrane and electrode degradation
Event Title:European Fuel Cell Forum 2011
Event Location:Luzern, Schweiz
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:28. Jun1 -1. Juli 2011
Organizer:Fuel Cell Forum
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Efficient Energy Conversion (old)
HGF - Program Themes:E EV - Energy process technology (old)
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E EV - Energy process technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Elektrochemische Prozesse (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Electrochemical Energy Technology
Deposited By: Friedrich, Prof.Dr. Kaspar Andreas
Deposited On:08 Nov 2011 10:51
Last Modified:08 Nov 2011 10:51

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