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Our facilities are uniquely suited to rapid materials synthesis and evaluation.  We maintain two large synthetic chemistry labs for the synthesis of small molecules, polymers, hybrid organic-inorganic composites, and other materials.

Chemical synthesis facilities  

We have the skills and facilities for step growth, chain growth and living radical polymerizations, sol-gel chemistry, nanoparticle membrane impregnation, and other chemistries.

We maintain our own membrane formation and materials characterization facilities.  We fabricate membranes by solution casting doctor blade or “dish casting” methods.  Our labs contain a full suite of TA thermal analysis equipment including a differential scanning calorimeter, thermogravimetric analysis, and dynamic mechanical analysis instruments.

TA Instruments thermal suite and membrane
casting chamber
 

A significant amount of attention is paid to measuring stand alone membrane properties in order to develop structure-property relationships for the materials of interest. 

Our experimental facilities include a large membrane gas transport lab for measuring the pure gas and mixed gas permeabilities of the membranes that are fabricated in our lab.  The gas permeation lab features three automated permeation units and a micro gas chromatograph.

Gas transport automatic membrane permeation instruments.  High pressure, high temperature membrane cells and micro GC  
   

 

A Waters differential refractometer coupled to an HPLC pump and membrane separated cell is used to measure the membrane permeability of liquid soluble compounds such as methanol and glucose.  These measurements are especially important for determining the crossover characteristics of fuel cell membranes.

Membrane separated cell and Waters differential refractometer for measuring liquid membrane permeability  
   

 

We have two potentiostat/frequency response analyzer stations for measuring membrane ion conductivity and performing electrochemical measurements on ½ cells or full membrane electrode assemblies.

We use both Solartron and PAR potentiostats and Solartron FRAs.

Potentiostat/FRA instruments with custom cells for ion conductivity and electrochemical measurements.

 

To compliment our material synthesis and materials efforts, a large capability is being developed for the fabrication and device testing of both direct methanol and hydrogen fuel cells.  We have extensive facilities for MEA fabrication including casting (screen printing, and hand painting) electrodes and decal methods for hot-pressed MEA fabrication.  A significant effort is undertaken on fuel cell diagnostics including a segmented electrode cell, and a transparent cell for visualizing the liquid water transport in a gas flow channel.

 

   

Fuel cell testing laboratory with MEA fabrication facilities and advanced fuel cell device
diagnostics.

 

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Contacts:

J. Bruce Kelley

Manager
jbkelle@sandia.gov
(505) 845-3384

 

Chris Cornelius

Principle Member of the Technical Staff

cjcorne@sandia.gov

(505) 844-6192

 

Janet Lovato

Office Administrative Assistant

jlovato@sandia.gov

(505) 844-0558

 


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Michael Hickner

505-844-2002

 

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Lisa Sena-Henderson
Last modified: February 23, 2006