(220f) Structured Ion-Exchange Membrane-Electrode Interfaces Fabricated Via Conventional and Advanced Block Copolymer Lithography

Arges, C. G., Louisiana State University
Zhang, L., Louisiana State University
Intimate electrode-electrolyte interfaces for fuel cell and water electrolysis applications are central for extracting excellent thermodynamic device efficiencies. This talk will report on our efforts to prepare microstructured and nanostructured ion-exchange membrane-electrode interfaces via micropatterning and advanced block copolymer lithography (i.e., nanopatterning platform). The structured interfaces enable greater interfacial area that minimizes charge-transfer resistances. However, increasing the interfacial area by patterning deeper into the membrane (rather than shrinking the lateral feature sizes) gives rise to large mass transfer related resistances that eventually offset gains from the reduced charge-transfer resistances. The talk will highlight appropriate design heuristics for fabricating structured electrochemical interfaces from patterned membranes that optimize fuel cell and electrolyzer performance. The talk will also show promising new results to make periodic, nanostructured electrocatalyst on ion-exchange membranes with sub-15 nm feature sizes over large areas using block copolymer lithography.

Note: The term ion-exchange membrane encompasses both proton exchange and hydroxide ion exchange membranes