In this work the surfaces of polymeric membranes based on Nafion (proton conducting material), used in proton exchange membranes fuel cells (PEMFC) had been modified by plasma deposition of perfluored polymers, in order to improve its functioning in systems of energy generation (fuel cells). The deposition increases the chemical resistance of the proton ionic polymers without losing the electrical properties. The processing of the membranes also reduces the permeability of the membranes to the alcohols (methanol and ethanol), thus preventing poisoning of the fuel cell. The processing of the membranes of Nafion was carried through in a system of plasma deposition using a mixture of CF4and H2gases. The plasma processing was made mainly to increase the chemical resistance and result in hydrophobic surfaces. The Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR) technique supplies a spectrum with information about the CFnbond formation. Through the Rutherford back scattering (RBS) technique it was possible to verify the deposition rate of the polymeric layer. The plasma process with composition of 60% of CF4and 40% of H2presented the best deposition rate. By the spectrum analysis for the optimized configuration, it was possible to verify that the film deposition occurred with a thickness of 90 nm, and fluorine concentration was nearly 30%. Voltammetry made possible to verify that the fluorination increases the membranes chemical resistance, improving the stability of Nafion, becoming an attractive process for construction of fuel cells. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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