The hydrogen and
fuel cell center
ZBT GmbH

Your Contact

Dr.-Ing. Georg Dura

vice head of department
Micro Systems and Fluid Mechanics

phone: +49-203-7598-2344
g.dura(at)zbt-duisburg.de
online form

Surface Analysis

Surface analysis and modification

One of the most important functions of bipolar plates in hydrogen fuel cells is to remove reaction products of the cell. The water produced at the electrodes needs to be transported away from the membrane to the outlet of the cell. However, in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), the additional aspect of CO2 gas bubbles at the anode has to be considered. They should be removed as well in order to provide constant fuel cell performance.

The removal of gaseous and liquid products requires a deep knowledge of the interaction between hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces in order to maximize the cell performance. Besides the wetting characteristics, surface roughness is another important parameter to receive low electrical contact resistance. It was found that a variation of the surface roughness results in a significant change of the fuel cell performance.

Therefore, extensive works in the field of surface analysis and surface modification are performed in the department of microsystems and fluid mechanics. This includes the investigation of the influence of different surfaces, for example on the wetting behaviour, as well as the specific modification of surfaces, such as laser processing for the production of a good electrical contact or to improve the adhesion of sealings.

Fields of application

  • corrosion resistant coatings for metallic bipolar plates in H2 fuel cells
  • corrosion resistant coatings for metallic bipolar plates in DMFCs
  • surface modification to enhance the two-phase flow operation
  • surface modification to minimize the electrical resistance
  • surface modification to enhance the mechanical adhesion of sealings
corrosion resistant PVD-coating for metallic bipolar plates in DMFC
wetting of a GDL and effect of a gas bubble on the flow within a DMFC-channel
contac angle measurement
laser structuring of a compound bipolar plate to enhance adhesion of a sealing
Last update:  31.08.2016