In order to improve the electricity generation performance of fuel cell electric vehicles, it is necessary to optimize the microstructure of the catalyst layer of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell. The catalyst layer is formed by a wet coating process using catalyst inks. Therefore, it is very important to observe the microstructure of the catalyst ink. In this study, the morphology of carbon-supported platinum (Pt/C) particles in catalyst inks with a different solvent composition was investigated by cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM). In addition, the morphology of the ionomer, which presumably influences the formation of agglomerated Pt/C particles in a catalyst ink, was investigated by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). The results of a cryo-SEM observation revealed that the agglomerated Pt/C particles tended to become coarser with a higher 1-propanol (NPA) weight fraction. The results of a cryo-TEM observation indicated that the actual ionomer dispersion in a catalyst ink formed a network structure different from that of the ionomer in the solvent.

You do not currently have access to this article.