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Corrosion-Resistant Tantalum Coatings for PEM Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2011

Leszek Gladczuk
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering and, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA
Chirag Joshi
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering and, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA
Anamika Patel
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering and, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA
Jim Guiheen
Affiliation:
Honeywell International Inc, Morristown, New Jersey 07960, USA
Zafar Iqbal
Affiliation:
Chemistry and Environmental Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA
Marek Sosnowski
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering and, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA
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Abstract

Tantalum is a tough, corrosion resistant metal, which would be suitable for use as bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, if it was not for its high weight and price. Relatively thin tantalum coatings, however, can be deposited on other inexpensive and lighter weight metals, such as aluminum and steel, providing a passive protection layer on these easily formed substrates. We have successfully deposited, high quality α (body-centered-cubic, bcc) and β (tetragonal) phase tantalum coatings that were a few micrometers thick by dc magnetron sputtering on steel and aluminum. The growth of the thermodynamically preferred body-centered-cubic (bcc) tantalum phase was induced by a choice of deposition conditions and substrate surface treatment. The microstructure and corrosion resistance of the α-phase in an environment approximately simulating the electrochemical conditions used in a PEM fuel cell were investigated under potentiodynamic conditions. Preliminary potentiostatic measurements of a β-phase sample are also presented.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2003

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References

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Corrosion-Resistant Tantalum Coatings for PEM Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates
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