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Fabrication of Surface-Patterned Membranes by Means of a ZnO Nanorod Templating Method for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel-Cell Applications

Authors

  • Won Seok Chi,

    1. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this study.

  • Yukwon Jeon,

    1. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this study.

  • Se Jun Park,

    1. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea)
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  • Prof. Jong Hak Kim,

    Corresponding author
    1. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea)
    • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea)===

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  • Prof. Yong-Gun Shul

    Corresponding author
    1. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea)
    • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea)===

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Abstract

Surface-patterned Nafion films were prepared by using different types of ZnO nanorods as templates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel-cell (PEMFC) applications. Varying the concentrations of the Zn precursor produced ZnO nanorods with different diameters and pore sizes in the Nafion films. The surface-tuned structure of the films improved fuel-cell performance owing to effective Pt loading on the membranes through an enhancement in surface area. Also, the interconnected morphology resulted in a reduction in charge-transfer resistance at the interface between the electrode and membrane. The optimum surface-patterned Nafion film recorded a current density of 1.19 A cm−2 at 0.6 V and a maximum power density of 0.95 W cm−2. These values are much higher than those of non-patterned Nafion (0.85 A cm−2 and 0.59 W cm−2, respectively). We expect that the patterning process using ZnO nanorod templates will improve the performance of any electrochemical device by allowing for the tuning of the interfacial resistance.

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