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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Low platinum electrodes for proton exchange fuel cells manufactures by reactive spray deposition technology Roller, Justin


Reactive spray deposition technology (RSDT) is a method of depositing films or producing nanopowders through combustion of metal-organic compounds dissolved in a solvent. This technology produces powders of controllable size and quality by changing process parameters to control the stoichiometry of the final product. This results in a low-cost, continuous production method suitable for producing a wide range of fuel cell related catalyst films or powders. In this work, the system is modified for direct deposition of both unsupported and carbon supported layers on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The cell performance is investigated for platinum loadings of less than 0.15 mg/cm² using a heterogeneous bi-layer consisting of a layer of unsupported platinum followed by a composite layer of Nafion®, carbon and platinum. Comparison to more traditional composite cathode architectures is made at loadings of 0.12 and 0.05 mg platinum/cm². The composition and phase of the platinum catalyst is confirmed by XPS and XRD analysis while the particle size is analyzed by TEM microscopy. Cell voltages of 0.60 V at 1 A/cm² using H₂/O₂ at a loading of 0.053 mg platinum/cm² have been achieved.

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