An experimental study of synthesis and characterization of vanadium oxide thin films coated on metallic bipolar plates for cold-start enhancement of fuel cell vehicles

Hye Mi Jung, Jung Hun Noh, Se Joon Im, Jong Hyun Lee, Byung Ki Ahn, Sukkee Um

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The enhancement of the cold-start capability of polymer electrolyte fuel cells is of great importance in terms of the durability and reliability of fuel-cell vehicles. In this study, vanadium oxide films deposited onto the flat surface of metallic bipolar plates were synthesized to investigate the feasibility of their use as an efficient self-heating source to expedite the temperature rise during startup at subzero temperatures. Samples were prepared through the dip-coating technique using the hydrolytic sol-gel route, and the chemical compositions and microstructures of the films were characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and field-emission scanning electron microscopy. In addition, the electrical resistance hysteresis loop of the films was measured over a temperature range from -20 to 80°C using a four-terminal technique. Experimentally, it was found that the thermal energy (Joule heating) resulting from self-heating of the films was sufficient to provide the substantial amount of energy required for thawing at subzero temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-592
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers, B
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun



  • Cold-Start
  • Metallic bipolar plate
  • Polymer electrolyte fuel cell
  • Self-heating
  • Vanadium oxide thin films

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