The performance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is affected by the interfacial property between the proton exchange membrane (PEM) and the electrodes. Thus, development of well-laminated membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) has been carried out. The hybrid PEM, consisting of perfluoro-sulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer and sulfonated polystyrene grafted tetrafluoroethylene-co-hexafluoropropylene (sulfonated PS-g-FEP) synthesized by the soft electron beam (soft-EB) induced grafting method, was fabricated by mixing sulfonated PS-g-FEP with PFSA ionomer, which is coated on the interface of the PEM and the electrodes. The obtained hybrid PEM was characterized in terms of water uptake, ion exchange capacity, polarization performance and electrochemical impedance. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the hybrid PEM was 1.0-1.2meq/g. The polarization curve and electrochemical impedance of the hybrid PEM was analyzed. As a result, the ionic conductivity was 0.16S/cm and is the highest in the tested PEMs. The maximum power density is about 1.0W/cm2 with low humidity (relative humidity RH: 16%), which is 1.5 times higher than that of commercially available Nafion® 112.
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