Pulsed laser deposition of platinum nanoparticles as catalyst for high-performance PEM fuel cells
Hamza Qayyum (韓沙)1,2,3*, Ting-Wei Huang (黃亭維)4, Chung-Jen Tseng (曾重仁)4, Szu-yuan Chen (陳賜原)1,2,3
1Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
2Physics, National Central University, Chungli, Taiwan
3Molecular Science and Technology Program, Taiwan International Graduate Program, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
4Mechanical Engineering, National Central University, Chungli, Taiwan
* presenting author:Hamza Qayyum, email:hamzaqayyum02@yahoo.com
Recently, fuel cell technologies have received much attention due to growing concerns on the depletion of fossil fuels and climate change. The proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising available technologies. However, the high cost of a PEMFC has hindered its commercialization. The cost of PEMFCs depends mostly on the amount of Pt catalyst used. Therefore, the development of new methods to reduce Pt loading and achieve a higher mass specific power density (MSPD) is an active research area.
In this work, we used pulsed-laser deposition (PLD) technique in argon atmosphere (106 Pa) to deposit Pt nanoparticle catalyst onto the gas diffusion layer for fabricating both the anode and the cathode of a PEMFC. In the first set of investigation, Pt nanoparticles with four different Pt loading (50, 75, 100 and 125 µg cm-2) are deposited on the porous carbon paper to act as a cathode for PEMFC, while for the anode side commercially available E-TEK with a Pt loading of 200 µg cm-2 is used. In the second step, both the anode and the cathode are prepared by using PLD technique with an overall Pt loading of 117 µg cm-2. With a Pt loading of 100 μg cm-2 the current density at 0.6 V is maximal, reaching 1320 mA cm-2, corresponding to a power density of 792 mW cm-2, and the cathode MSPD at 0.6 V is 7.8 kW g-1, which is a factor of 4 higher than that (2 kW g-1) of the reference sample using E-TEK Pt/C with a Pt loading of 400 µg cm-2. For the PEMFC with both electrodes prepared using PLD at an overall loading of 117 µg cm-2, the current density at 0.6 V is 1300 mA cm-2, and the whole-cell MSPD reaches 6.8 kWg-1. Such an overall MSPD is factor of 4.8 higher than that (1.4 kW g-1) of the reference E-TEK sample and 65 % higher than the optimal results reported by using DC magnetron sputtering in an Ar atmosphere. The high performance of PLD-based PEMFC could be ascribed to prevention of the formation of isolated regions, good dispersion of Pt particles on GDE, and small particle sizes of 2–3 nm.

Keywords: plaitnum, nanoparticles, pulsed laser deposition, catalyst, PEM fuel cell