Electrochemical Nitridation of a Stainless Steel for PEMFC Bipolar Plates

Heli Wang, John A. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus Citations


AISI446 steel has been electrochemically nitrided in 0.1 M HNO3 + 0.5 M KNO3 solution at room temperature. XPS analysis revealed surface NH3 and a deeper nitride layer. The surface layer of the stainless steel modified by electrochemical nitridation was thus composed of a nitrogen-incorporated oxide film. The nitrided steel showed very low interfacial contact resistance (ca. 18 m cm2 at 140 N/cm2) and excellent corrosion resistance in simulated PEMFC environments. Electrochemical nitridation provides an economic way to modify the stainless steel's surface, and is very promising for application to fuel cell bipolar plates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)13008-13013
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5600-51213


  • Bipolar plate
  • Nitridation
  • Stainless steel
  • Surface modification
  • XPS


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