Bendable polymer electrolyte fuel cells using highly flexible Ag nanowire percolation network current collectors

Ikwhang Chang, Taehyun Park, Jinhwan Lee, Minhwan Lee, Seunghwan Ko, Sukwon Cha

This study reports a polymer electrolyte fuel cell based on polydimethylsiloxane coated with a flexible current-collecting layer of Ag nanowire percolation networks. The reactive area of the bendable fuel cell was 9 cm2 and showed the maximum absolute power of 639 mW (the power density was 71 mW cm−2) under various bending conditions. Impedance spectra of the operating cell revealed that ohmic and Faradaic resistances decreased under the bent condition. Overall, the degree of bending improves the cell performances. The structural modeling result showed that decrease of the resistance and corresponding performance enhancement were due to the increased compressive force normal to the membrane electrode assembly, which was investigated through finite element simulation of the stress within the bendable fuel cell.