Durability Improvements Through Degradation Mechanism Studies (DOE-EERE - PI Artyushkova)

The main objective of this project is identification and delineation of individual component degradation mechanisms, development of advanced in situ and ex situ characterization techniques for analysis of fuel cell component degradation, quantification of the influence of inter-relational operating environment between different fuel cell components, degradation measurements of components and component interfaces, elucidation of component interactions, interfaces, operating conditions leading to cell degradation, building individual degradation models of all fuel cell components and development and public dissemination of an integrated comprehensive model of cell degradation. UNM is responsible for correlation of surface composition as determined by XPS to Carbon Corrosion Properties. Through detailed deconvolution analysis if high resolution C, O, Pt F spectra changes in composition of catalysts layers and gas diffusion layers in MEAs with different testing protocols is determined.

Fresh CathodeFresh Cathode 2

High resolution C 1s and Pt 4f spectra for fresh and tested catalyst layers. Increase if C-O species is detected after AST (CO3 and COOH). Both main components of catalyst (C graphitic) and ionomer (CF2 and CF3) decrease. Increase in metallic Pt upon decrease from both Pt-C and PtO is detected after AST.

Joseph D. Fairweather, Dusan Spernjak, Adam Z. Weber, David Harvey, Silvia Wessel, Daniel S. Hussey, David L. Jacobson,"Effects of Cathode Corrosion on Through-Plane Water Transport in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells", Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 160 (9), F1-F14, 2013.