Platinum thin film anodes for solid acid fuel cells

Mary W. Louie, Sossina M. Haile*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Hydrogen electro-oxidation kinetics at the Pt CsH 2PO 4 interface have been evaluated. Thin films of nanocrystalline platinum 7.5-375 nm thick and 1-19 mm in diameter were sputtered atop polycrystalline discs of the proton-conducting electrolyte, CsH 2PO 4, by shadow-masking. The resulting Pt CsH 2PO 4 Pt symmetric cells were studied under uniform H 2-H 2O-Ar atmospheres at temperatures of 225-250 °C using AC impedance spectroscopy. For thick platinum films (>50 nm), electro-oxidation of hydrogen was found to be limited by diffusion of hydrogen through the film, whereas for thinner films, diffusion limitations are relaxed and interfacial effects become increasingly dominant. Extrapolation to vanishing film thickness implies an ultimate interfacial resistivity of 2.2 Ω cm 2, likely reflecting a process at the Pt H 2(g) interface. Films 7.5 nm in thickness displayed a total electro-oxidation resistivity, R, of 3.1 Ω cm 2, approaching that of Pt-based composite anodes for solid acid fuel cells (1-2 Ω cm 2). In contrast, the Pt utilization (R -1/Pt loading), 19 S mg -1, significantly exceeds that of composite electrodes, indicating that the thin film approach is a promising route for achieving high performance in combination with low platinum loadings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4230-4238
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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