Development of High-Performance Roll-to-Roll-Coated Gas-Diffusion-Electrode-Based Fuel Cells

Scott Mauger, Min Wang, Firat Cetinbas, Michael Dzara, Jaehyung Park, Deborah Myers, Rajesh Ahluwalia, Svitlana Pylypenko, Leiming Hu, Shawn Litster, K. Neyerlin, Michael Ulsh

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35 Scopus Citations


This study focuses on determining fabrication conditions to create high-performance roll-to-roll-coated (R2R-coated) gas-diffusion electrodes (GDEs) for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Here, we examine how process conditions influence the distribution of ionomer in the electrode, which is shown to be critical for high performance. Using a combination of Kelvin probe, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and nano-scale X-ray computed tomography we show that formation of an ionomer-rich surface is promoted by using a higher drying rate. We show that R2R-coated GDEs have higher surface ionomer concentration than spray-coated GDEs, which enables these R2R-coated GDEs to not need an additional ionomer overlayer, as is typically the case for spray-coated GDEs. This will reduce the number of processing steps and lower material costs in a manufacturing setting. This work shows that with the appropriate selection of materials, ink formulation, and processing conditions, direct-coated GDEs are a viable pathway for fuel cell manufacturing.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 230039
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-76730


  • Gas diffusion electrodes
  • PEM fuel Cells
  • Roll-to-roll coating
  • Slot die coating


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