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Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detector

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 605  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 95 - 98

A combined method of small-angle neutron scattering and neutron radiography to visualize water in an operating fuel cell over a wide length scale from nano to millimeter

H. Iwase, S. Koizumi, H. Iikura, M. Matsubayashi, D. Yamaguchi, Y. Maekawa and T. Hashimoto


In order to visualize water generated in an operating polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), a neutron radiography (NR) apparatus, composed of a scintillator, optical mirrors and a CCD camera, was installed at a sample position of the focusing and polarized neutron small-angle scattering (SANS) spectrometer (SANS-J-II) at research reactor JRR-3 at Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai, Japan. By combining SANS and NR, we aim to cover a wide length scale from nanometer to millimeter. The new method succeeded in detecting a spatial distribution of the water generated in individual cell elements; NR detected the water in a gas diffusion layer and a flow field, whereas SANS quantitatively determines the water content in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA).

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