The effects of Nafion® ionomer content in PEMFC MEAs prepared by a catalyst-coated membrane (CCM) spraying method

Kun Ho Kim, Kwan Young Lee, Hyoung Juhn Kim, Eun Ae Cho, Sang Yeop Lee, Tae Hoon Lim, Sung Pil Yoon, In Chul Hwang, Jong Hyun Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed the effects of ionomer content on the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performance of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) fabricated by a catalyst-coated membrane (CCM) spraying method in partially humidified atmospheric air and hydrogen. When high loading Pt/C catalysts (45.5 wt.%) were used, we observed that catalytic activity was not directly proportional to electrochemical active surface area (EAS). This suggests that ionic conductivity through ionomers in catalyst layers is also an important factor affecting MEA performance. In addition, the effects of mass transport were experimentally evaluated by manipulating the air stoichiometry ratio at the cathodes. MEA performance was more sensitive to flow rates under conditions of higher ionomer content. Due to the combined effect of EAS, ionic conductivity, and mass transfer characteristics (all of which varied according to the ionomer content), an MEA with 30 wt.% ionomer content at the cathode (25 wt.% at the anode) was shown to yield the best performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2119-2126
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar


  • Catalyst-coated membrane (CCM) spraying method
  • Ionic resistance
  • Membrane-electrode assembly (MEA)
  • Nafion ionomer
  • Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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