(444c) Composite Membranes for Micro Fuel Cells

Kohl, P. A. - Presenter, Georgia Institute of Technology
Prakash, S. - Presenter, Georgia Institute of Technology
Bhusari, D. - Presenter, Georgia Tech

Micro fuel cells for low power application electronic devices have been of constant interest in the past decade. The performance of fuel cell is strongly influenced by the characteristic of proton exchange membranes (PEM). The two main governing factors that affect its performance are proton conductivity and the extent of methanol cross-over through the membrane. Traditional Nafion membranes are known for their high rate of methanol cross-over which generates mixed cell potential at the electrodes; therefore adversely affecting its performance. Thus, it is of interest to design a composite membrane with good conductivity and lower cross-over. It has been shown that inorganic glasses provide a higher resistance to methanol cross-over than polymer membranes. Thus the complete characterization of PECVD P-SiO¬2 and its electrochemical behavior is being investigated to optimize fabrication of composite PEM for low power electronic device applications.