JET VAPOR DEPOSITION OF ULTRA-THIN PLATINUM CATALYST LOADINGS DIRECTLY ON POLYMER ION-EXCHANGE MEMBRANES FOR FUEL CELL APPLICATIONS

Period of Performance: 01/01/1993 - 12/31/1993

$75K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

JET Process Corp.
25 Science Park
New Haven, CT 06511
Principal Investigator

Abstract

POLYMER ELECTROLYTE FUEL CELL (PEFC) TECHNOLOGY HAS GREAT PROMISE FOR THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE. HOWEVER, STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY CURRENTLY REQUIRES CATALYST LOADINGS OF EXPENSIVE NOBLE METALS SUCH AS PLATINUM (PT) AT COSTS WHICH HINDER ECONOMIC VEHICULAR APPLICATION OF PEFCS. A NOVEL JET VAPOR DEPOSITION (JVD) PROCESS WILL BE USED TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM. JVD IS CAPABLE OF HIGH RATE, HIGHLY EFFICIENT DEPOSITION OF METAL PARTICLES. THIS PROJECT WILL DEPOSIT ULTRA-THIN, NANOMETER-SIZED LOADINGS OF HIGH SURFACE AREA PT ELECTROCATAYLST CLUSTERS DIRECTLY ON THE SURFACE OF POLYMER ELECROLYTES SUCH AS NAFION(TM) (DUPONT). PHASE I WILL TEST AND EVALUATE SAMPLES TO DETERMINE THE CATALYTIC EFFECTIVENESS OF THESE ULTRA-THIN PT DEPOSITS. IT WILL ALSO DEVELOP PRELIMINARY STUDIES ON PROCESS SCALE-UP AND PRODUCTION ECONOMICS. SPECIALISTS IN PEFC TECHNOLOGY AT LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY AND BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS WILL PARTICIPATE IN PHASE I.