Electrochemical performance and stability of thin film electrodes with metal oxides in polymer electrolyte fuel cells
Journal article, 2010
Thin film electrodes are prepared by thermal evaporation of nanometer thick layers of metal oxide and platinum on a gas diffusion layer (GDL), in order to evaluate different metal oxides' impact on the activity and stability of the platinum cathode catalyst in the polymer electrolyte fuel cell. Platinum deposited on tin, tantalum, titanium, tungsten and zirconium oxide is investigated and the morphology and chemistry of the catalysts are examined with scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Cyclic sweeps in oxygen and nitrogen are performed prior and after potential cycling degradation tests. Platinum seems to disperse better on the metal oxides than on the GDL and increased electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) of platinum is observed on tin, titanium and tungsten oxide. A thicker layer metal oxide results in a higher ECSA. Platinum deposited on tungsten performs better than sole platinum in the polarisation curves and displays higher Tafel slopes at higher current densities than all other samples. The stability does also seem to be improved by the addition of tungsten oxide, electrodes with 3 nm platinum on 3, 10 and 20 nm tungsten oxide, performs better than all other electrodes after the accelerated degradation tests. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Transition metal oxides