Electrically insulating, hydrophilic and hydrophobic nanocoating for robust and fail-safe fuel cells

The fuel cell is among the most promising and furthest developed technologies in the area of electromobility. Today fuel cells are already being used to drive ships, submarines, special vehicles and even research planes.

However, the big breakthrough in this technology hasn’t happened yet as far as the future of the automotive industry is concerned. Cost reduction for the materials used and expansion of operating ranges remain critically important for the quality and safety of fuel cells.

In particular, the cooler operating ranges of fuel cells represent a problem because during the conversion of hydrogen and oxygen to energy, water inevitably occurs. In spite of extremely low temperatures, this water must be safely blown out of the fuel cell in order to protect the complicated bipolar plates from bursting during freezing.

Formation of water due to the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen
Hydrophilic and hydrophobic nanocoating of fuel cells

Plasma technology, and especially plasma coating (plasma polymerization), play an important role in the two focal points of development:

  • Electrically-insulating functional coating. With the use of PlasmaPlus® nanocoating, a selective electrically-insulating functional coating is applied that makes it possible to use a variety of membrane materials.
  • Hydrophilic/hydrophobic nanocoating. Providing the membrane materials with an appropriate plasma functional coating makes it possible to blow out (drain) water from the fuel cell.


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