Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell is a promising zero-emission power generator for stationary/automotive applications. However, key issues, such as performance and costs, are still remained for an economical commercialization. Here, we fabricated a high-performance membrane electrode assembly (MEA) using an interfacial design based on well-arrayed micro-patterned membranes including circles, squares and hexagons with different sizes, which are produced by a facile elastomeric mold method. The best MEA performance is achieved using patterned Nafion membrane with a circle 2 μm in size, which exhibited a very high power density of 1906 mW/cm2 at 75°C and Pt loading of 0.4 mg/cm2 with 73% improvement compared to the commercial membrane. The improved performance are attributed to the decreased MEA resistances and increased surface area for higher Pt utilization of over 80%. From these enhanced properties, it is possible to operate at lower Pt loading of 0.2 mg/cm2 with an outstanding performance of 1555 mW/cm2 and even at air/low humidity operations.
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