Fuel Cell Material Sciences
Office of Automotive Engineering



Contact Information

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Contact us:
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image of 800-square-centimeter active area membrane electrode assemblies, incorporating ultralow catalyst load electrode technology

SwRI engineers have fabricated 800-square-centimeter active area membrane electrode assemblies, incorporating ultralow catalyst load electrode technology.

For fuel cell technologies to become commercially accepted, new high-performance, and low-cost materials must be developed. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is playing a major role in developing novel materials and processes in areas such as:

  • Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell electrode assemblies
  • Hydrogen storage and separation materials
  • Solid oxide fuel cell interconnects, cathodes, and solid electrolytes

Fuel Cell Experience

Specific areas of effort and interest include:

  • Large-area, low-cost vacuum catalyzation methods for PEM fuel cell electrodes
  • Novel carbon structures as catalyst supports and hydrogen storage media
  • Ultrathin precious-metal separation membranes
  • Surface-modified ferrous alloys and ceramics to provide improved resistance to oxidation and carbon buildup
  • Material property, surface, and interface prediction through molecular simulation
  • Electrochemical process modeling

Fuel Cell Capabilities

General capabilities related to fuel cell materials include:

  • Material specification and selection
  • Material characterization
  • Complex dielectric permittivity (temperature dependent)
  • Ionic conductivity (temperature dependent)
  • Electrochemical and impedance behavior
  • Thermodynamic properties
  • Membrane electrode assembly (MEA) lay-up and fabrication
  • Polymer and organic synthesis
  • Ceramic processing

Related Terminology

fuel cells  •  fuel cell integration  •  fuel cell systems  •  stationary fuel cell

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.
05/14/14