A spectroscopic proton-exchange membrane fuel cell test setup allowing fluorescence x-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements during state-of-the-art cell tests

Petrova, Olga; Kulp, Christian; van den Berg, Maurits W. E.; Klementiev, Konstantin V.; Otto, Bruno; Otto, Horst; Lopez, Marco; Bron, Michael; Grünert, Wolfgang
April 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Apr2011, Vol. 82 Issue 4, p044101
Academic Journal
A test setup for membrane-electrode-assemblies (MEAs) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells which allows in situ fluorescence x-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of one electrode with safe exclusion of contributions from the counter electrode is described. Interference by the counter electrode is excluded by a geometry including a small angle of incidence (< 6°) between primary beam and electrode layer. The cell has been constructed by introducing just minor modifications to an electrochemical state-of-the-art MEA test setup, which ensures realistic electrochemical test conditions. This is at the expense of significant intensity losses in the path of the incident beam, which calls for the brilliance of third-generation synchrotrons to provide meaningful data. In measurements on Pt/C and Pt-Co/C cathodes combined with Pt-C anodes (H2/O2 feed), good data quality was demonstrated both for the majority element Pt as well as for Co despite of a low areal Co density in the order of 0.02 mg/cm2.


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