Inkjet printing of carbon supported platinum 3-D catalyst layers for use in fuel cells

André D. Taylor, Edward Y. Kim, Virgil P. Humes, Jeremy Kizuka, Levi T. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a method of using inkjet printing (IJP) to deposit catalyst materials onto gas diffusion layers (GDLs) that are made into membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC). Existing ink deposition methods such as spray painting or screen printing are not well suited for ultra low (<0.5 mg Pt cm-2) loadings. The IJP method can be used to deposit smaller volumes of water based catalyst ink solutions with picoliter precision provided the solution properties are compatible with the cartridge design. By optimizing the dispersion of the ink solution we have shown that this technique can be successfully used with catalysts supported on different carbon black (i.e. XC-72R, Monarch 700, Black Pearls 2000, etc.). Our ink jet printed MEAs with catalyst loadings of 0.020 mg Pt cm-2 have shown Pt utilizations in excess of 16,000 mW mg-1 Pt which is higher than our traditional screen printed MEAs (800 mW mg-1 Pt). As a further demonstration of IJP versatility, we present results of a graded distribution of Pt/C catalyst structure using standard Johnson Matthey (JM) catalyst. Compared to a continuous catalyst layer of JM Pt/C (20% Pt), the graded catalyst structure showed enhanced performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 19 2007


  • Catalysts
  • Ink jet technology
  • Membrane electrode assemblies
  • PEM fuel cells
  • Pt loading of carbon black

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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