This work aims to investigate the relationship between the microstructure of catalyst layer and its performance. Catalyst layer is area located near by the membrane of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and it stimulates the hydrogen gas to split up to hydrogen protons and electrons. The electrons go through the outside circuit from cathode to anode but not go through the membrane directly. This current flow can be used in any electric device. The microstructure of catalyst influences the efficiency of chemical reaction. During the producing of PEMFC, the membrane, catalyst layer and electrode are compressed to form one stack. However, the microstructure of catalyst layer changes after removing the compression. In order to better understand the microstructure of catalyst layer, X-ray tomography can be used and samples are prepared by Johnson Matthey Technology Centre. Imagines of 3D microstructure, the active elements and the distribution of the active elements of catalyst layer will be obtained from X-ray microCT( Nikon Metris 225KV machine) and the imagines will be analysed by the software, AVIZO. Comparing the analysed database from AVIZO, the relationship of microstructure and performance of catalyst could be obtained.
Xradia MicroXCT
  • reconstructed image of electrode with magnification 20x _1
  • electrode with magnification 20x_1
  • single layer of electrode in CCM_1
  • one single catalyst layer in CCM_1
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