The performances of gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) containing Pt/C catalyst (48 wt.% and 68 wt.%-Pt) and sulfonated poly (arylene ether) (SPAE) ionomer (ion exchange capacity, IEC = 1.8 and 2.5 meq g-1) as a proton-conducting binder (SPAE-GDE) were examined in a PEFC at 80 °C and relative humidities (RH) from 60% to 100%. Based on our analyses in Part 1, we have succeeded in improving the cathode performance over the whole range of current densities examined by using a high Pt-loading for the catalyst (68 wt.%-Pt/C), in place of the previously used 48 wt.% one, for the reduction of thickness of the catalyst layer, which enabled us to increase the O2 gas diffusion rate and to suppress the adsorption of the SPAE binder on the Pt surface via an effective utilization of generated water. The performance, especially at low RH, was improved further by employing an SPAE binder with a lower IEC, 1.8 meq g-1 [SPAE(1.8)]. It was demonstrated by cyclic voltammetry that the specific adsorption of the sulfonate or organic moiety on the Pt surface was indeed suppressed for the case of SPAE(1.8). Hence, for the SPAE-GDEs, the use of a high Pt-loading catalyst, together with a binder with an appropriate IEC, is very important.
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