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Inkjet Printing of Fuel Cell Electrodes: Spreading and Evaporation of Particle-Laden Drops

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Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are seen as potential candidates of environmentally friendly power sources for a wide range of fields. The durability and production cost are the main shortcomings limiting the large scale development and commercialization of this technology. In this paper we report both experimental findings on PEMFC fuel cell electrodes manufacturing by inkjet printing as well as theoretical modeling of the impact of particle-laden drops and their evaporation which in final lead to the printed electrodes. The experiments highlight that deposit patterns which may be in the form of coffee rings and affect electrochemical performance. The form of the deposits is strongly influenced by four main parameters: solvent composition, solid content, substrate properties and temperature. A numerical model is developed for better understanding and predicting the spreading of one or more drops and the resulting coffee ring formation. The model is based on the lubrication approximation taking into account contact line motion of the drops, solvent evaporation, viscous and Marangoni effects which all play a critical role in the enhancement or limitation of coffee ring formation. This work may be considered as a first step to better control catalyst ink deposit patterns during manufacturing of fuel cells by fluid jetting.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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