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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge the financial support from the “Human Resources Program in Energy Technology” of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea. (No. 20154010200810). This research was also supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIP) through the Active Polymer Center for Pattern Integration (2007-0056091).
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