Robust esterified nanofibre electrode with low platinum loading for proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Optimizing the architecture of cathodic catalyst layers is significant in improving the catalyst utilization and enhancing the performance and durability for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Nanofibre electrodes possess continuous proton and electron transport channels, which take advantages over the conventional electrode in mass transport. However, the structural stability of the nanofibre electrode has been rarely reported in literatures. Herein, a highly stable esterified nanofibre electrode was prepared by the esterified poly (acrylic acid) (PAA) with poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to address the structural stability of the nanofibre electrode during the operation of PEMFCs. Both the ex situ and in situ tests confirm that the esterified nanofibre electrode has enhanced structural stability compared with the conventional nanofibre electrode. The concept of esterified nanofibre electrode inspires a facile approach to stabilizing the polymer binders in fuel cell catalyst layers, especially for the nanofibre electrodes.