Considerable interest exists in the application of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Proposed applications include use as anode materials in both hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells, solid polymer electrolyte additives, active cathode materials, and bipolar plate interconnects. SWNTs have extremely high electrical conductivity and catalytic surface areas which make them potentially outstanding active materials for PEMFC electrodes. Additionally the enhanced mechanical properties may play a roll in developing new fuel cell designs such as thin-film microelectronic fuel cells. In a previous study SWNTs were combined with commercially obtained E-TEK Vulcan XC-72 and Nafion® to produce composite cathode membranes. The addition of nanotubes resulted in enhanced fuel cell performance over an equivalent weight percent doping of E-TEK alone. This increased performance was achieved with a 50% reduction in the quantity of platinum present in the cathode. In the present study we investigate fuel cell performance when both the anode and cathode membranes contain graphite, platinum and SWNTs. The SWNTs were characterized by use of thermogravimetric analysis, Raman and UV/VIS/NIR spectroscopes as well as high resolution field emission scanning electron microscopy. Fuel cell performance was determined by comparison of the IV characteristics.

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