SnO2:F Coated Ferritic Stainless Steels for PEM Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates

Heli Wang, John A. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus Citations


Ferrite stainless steels (AISI441, AISI444, and AISI446) were successfully coated with 0.6 μm thick SnO2:F by low-pressure chemical vapor deposition and investigated in simulated PEMFC environments. The results showed that a SnO2:F coating enhanced the corrosion resistance of the alloys in PEMFC environments, though the substrate steel has a significant influence on the behavior of the coating. ICP results from the testing solutions indicated that fresh AISI441 had the highest dissolution rates in both environments, and coating with SnO2:F significantly reduced the dissolution. Coating AISI444 also improved the corrosion resistance. Coating AISI446 steel further improved the already excellent corrosion resistance of this alloy. For coated steels, both potentiostatic polarizations and ICP results showed that the PEMFC cathode environment is much more corrosive than the anode one. More dissolved metallic ions were detected in solutions for PEMFC cathode environment than those in PEMFC anode environment. Sn2+ was detected for the coated AISI441 and AISI444 steels but not for coated AISI446, indicating that the corrosion resistance of the substrate has a significant influence on the dissolution of the coating. After coating, the ICR values of the coated steels increased compared to those of the fresh steels. The SnO2:F coating seems add an additional resistance to the native air-formed film on these stainless steels.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-560-41497


  • Bipolar plate
  • Ferrite
  • Stainless steel
  • Tin oxide


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