Chemical mapping of gas diffusion layers

Alfonso J. Mendoza, Colleen Legzdins, Michael Anthony Hickner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The gas diffusion layer (GDL), used in polymer electrolyte fuel cells, is a porous carbon fiber paper usually treated with a wet proofing agent such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The presence of the carbon fibers and PTFE gives the GDL both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties, allowing gaseous reactant transport and removal of excess water. Understanding the PTFE and carbon distribution is essential to optimizing transport mechanisms in the GDL. This study uses IR and Raman spectroscopy to chemically map the distribution of PTFE and carbon on the surface of the GDL. Chemical mapping is achieved by successively collecting vibrational spectra over a defined area and mapping peak intensities that correspond to specific molecular vibrations. Raman spectroscopy was effective at gathering PTFE and carbon distribution while IR spectroscopy was only effective with PTFE. Quantitative information was gathered through image segmentation and Raman and IR spectroscopy produced similar PTFE concentrations on the GDL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Chemical Society - 238th National Meeting and Exposition, ACS 2009, Abstracts of Scientific Papers
StatePublished - 2009
Event238th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, ACS 2009 - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Aug 16 2009Aug 20 2009


Other238th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, ACS 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry


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