Fabrication of Thin Film MEA Structures for Fuel Cells

Stanford engineers have developed a fabrication method for ultra thin large surface area pinhole free ion conducting membranes on inexpensive substrates to make cost effective high performance fuel cells or electrolyzers. The resultant membrane electrode assembly (MEA) allows significant reduction in resistive losses as well as lowering of the operating temperature. The invention further provides a method to deposit 3-dimensional surface conformal films that may have compositional grading for superior performance. In addition it allows decoration and modification of electrode surfaces for enhanced catalytic activity reducing polarization losses.


(1) Scalable - atomic layer deposition methods enable mass production of large surface area MEAs (2) Uniform coating and tunable features (3) Pinhole-free ultra thin film deposition of electrolyte (4) Engineering electrode/electrolyte interface could increase transport and performance (5) Compositional tuning and grading of electrodes to match thermal expansion coefficient and enhance performance factors (6) Low cost substrate materials (7) Improved fuel cell performance reduced ohmic losses due to ultra thin film structure (8) Wide range of operating temperatures (RT to 800°C) (9) High volumetric power density

Date of release