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Title: Catalyst-layer ionomer imaging of fuel cells

Investigation of membrane/electrode assembly (MEA) microstructure has become an essential step to optimize the MEA components and manufacturing processes or to study the MEA degradation. For these investigations, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a tool of choice as it provides direct imaging of the different components. TEM is then widely used for analyzing the catalyst nanoparticles and their carbon support. However, the ionomer inside the electrode is more difficult to be imaged. The difficulties come from the fact that the ionomer forms an ultrathin layer surrounding the carbon particles and in addition, these two components, having similar density, present no difference in contrast. In this paper, we show how the recent progresses in TEM techniques as spherical aberration (Cs) corrected HRTEM, electron tomography and X-EDS elemental mapping provide new possibilities for imaging this ionomer network and consequently to study its degradation.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. CEA, LITEN, Grenoble (France)
  2. CEA, INAC, Grenoble (France)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-15-25326
Journal ID: ISSN 1938-6737
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ECS Transactions (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: ECS Transactions (Online); Journal Volume: 69; Journal Issue: 17; Journal ID: ISSN 1938-6737
Publisher:
Electrochemical Society
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; energy sciences; fuel cell
OSTI Identifier:
1329888