Self-Standing, Ultrasonic Spray-Deposited Membranes for Fuel Cells

Ali Karaca, Irina Galkina, Yoo Jung Sohn, Klaus Wippermann, Fabian Scheepers, Andreas Glüsen, Meital Shviro, Martin Müller, Marcelo Carmo, Detlef Stolten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The polymer electrolyte membrane and its contact with electrodes has a significant effect on the performance of fuel and electrolysis cells but the choice of commercially available membranes is limited. In this study, membranes for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) were made by ultrasonic spray deposition from commercial Nafion solution; the effect of the drying temperature and presence of high boiling solvents on the membrane properties was then analyzed. When choosing suitable conditions, membranes with similar conductivity, water uptake, and higher crystallinity than comparable commercial membranes can be obtained. These show similar or superior performance in DMFC operation compared to commercial Nafion 115. Furthermore, they exhibit low permeability for hydrogen, which makes them attractive for electrolysis or hydrogen fuel cells. The findings from our work will allow for the adjustment of membrane properties to the specific requirements of fuel cells or water electrolysis, as well as the inclusion of additional functional components for composite membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number522
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, within the HiKAB Project 03ET1435A-C. Publication costs were paid by the fund “Open-Access-Publikationskosten” of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • DMFC
  • drying temperature
  • fuel cells
  • high boiling solvent
  • membrane
  • membrane structure
  • permeability
  • spray deposition
  • ultrasonic
  • water electrolysis


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