Design of Heterogeneities and Interfaces with Nanofibers in Fuel Cell Membranes

  • Marta Zatoń
  • Sara Cavaliere
  • Deborah J. Jones
  • Jacques Rozière
Living reference work entry


Many fuel cell membranes are highly heterogeneous systems comprising mechanical and chemical reinforcing components, including porous polymer sheets, nanofibers or nanoparticles, as well as radical scavengers or hydrogen peroxide decomposition catalysts. In the last 10 years, great attention has been devoted to 1D nanomaterials obtained by electrospinning. Several chemistries and compositions from aliphatic or aromatic polymers to metal oxides and phosphates and morphologies from nanofibers to nanotubes have been employed to prepare nanocomposite membranes. Despite the significant advances realized, further improvements in ionomer membrane durability under operation are still required. In particular, it is crucial to control the heterogeneity induced by the nanofiber component and to strengthen the interface between them and the matrix. Specific interactions have been demonstrated to improve the fiber/matrix interface with overall improvement of dimensional and mechanical properties. In this chapter we review the different approaches to fuel cell membrane reinforcement based on electrospun polymers and inorganic nanofibers.


Fuel cell Proton exchange membrane Proton conductivity Electrospinning Ionomer Composite membrane 



(Sulfonated) Poly(arylene ether sulfone)


(Sulfonated) Poly(ether ether ketone)


(Sulfonated) Poly(ether ether ketone ketone)


(Sulfonated) Polyethersulfone


(Sulfonated) Poly(fluorenyl ether ketone)


(Sulfonated) Polyimide


(Sulfonated) Poly(phthalazinone ether sulfone ketone)


(Sulfonated) Polysulfone






Acid doping level


Bromomethylated polyphenylene oxide


Cesium dihydrogen phosphate


Carbon nanofibers


Carbon nanotubes


Poly(2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane-sulfonic acid)






Direct membrane deposition




Direct methanol fuel cell


Dimethyl sulfoxide


Equivalent weight


Fluoride emission rate




Long side-chain




Membrane electrode assembly


Molecular weight




Open-circuit voltage


Phosphoric acid


Polyacrylic acid










Proton exchange membrane fuel cells


Polyethylene oxide


Perfluorosulfonic acid


Polyphosphoric acid




Poly tetrafluoroethylene


Polyvinyl alcohol


Polyvinyl butyral


Poly vinylidene fluoride


Polyvinylidene fluoride-hexafluoropropylene




Relative humidity


Scanning electron microscopy




Sulfonated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane


Sulfonated poly(phenyleneoxide)


Sulfonated polystyrene


Short side-chain


Sulfonated zirconia


Transmission electron microscopy




Glass transition temperature


Volume percent


Weight percent




Zirconium phosphate



Funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n. 306682 and from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 671465 VOLUMETRIQ is gratefully acknowledged. The Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Zatoń
    • 1
  • Sara Cavaliere
    • 1
  • Deborah J. Jones
    • 1
  • Jacques Rozière
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier, UMR CNRS 5253, Agrégats Interfaces et Matériaux pour l’EnergieUniversité de MontpellierMontpellier Cedex 5France

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