Carbon nanotubes rooted montmorillonite (CNT-MM) reinforced nanocomposite membrane for PEM fuel cells

Dhanagopal Manikandan, Ramalinga Viswanathan Mangalaraja, Ricardo E. Avila, Rajendran Siddheswaran, Solaiappan Ananthakumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Nafion based nanocomposite membranes containing montmorillonite-carbon nanotubes (a binary hybrid material) were produced to develop high performance polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Multi walled carbon nanotubes were grown over 20 and 25 wt% iron loaded montmorillonite catalysts by CVD using acetylene as the carbon precursor. Growth experiments were carried out at optimised conditions to obtain highly selective crystalline carbon nanotubes. X-ray diffraction spectra of the catalysts were recorded for the structural characterisation and definition of particle size. The carbon nanotubes obtained were examined by various physico chemical characterisation studies such as SEM, TEM, Raman spectroscopy and TG analyses to understand the morphology and crystallinity of the CNTs. The MM-CNT hybrid material with ID/IG ratio of Raman spectral band as 0.53 represents the high selectivity towards CNTs. Thus the hybrid material produced was considered as the best nanofiller to develop polymer nanocomposites. Nafion based nanocomposite membranes were prepared by adding MM-CNT as nanofiller by solution casting method. A better dispersion of MM-CNT into the Nafion matrix was observed and the addition of the MM-CNT improved the thermal stability of the Nafion membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-618
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering B: Solid-State Materials for Advanced Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Montmorillonite
  • Nafion
  • Nanocomposites
  • PEM fuel cell


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