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Water distribution in Nafion thin films on hydrophilic and hydrophobic carbon substrates

Ito, Kanae  ; Harada, Masashi*; Yamada, Norifumi*; Kudo, Kenji*; Aoki, Hiroyuki  ; Kanaya, Toshiji*

We performed H$$_{2}$$O and D$$_{2}$$O double contrast neutron reflectivity measurements on $$sim$$25-nm-thick Nafion thin films on hydrophilic and hydrophobic carbon in water and 80% relative humidity vapor to investigate the depth profile of the water and Nafion distribution. We found a dense Nafion layer at the air or water interface regardless of the carbon hydrophilicity. On the other hand, a water-rich Nafion dense layer was observed at the carbon interface only for hydrophilic carbon. The double contrast measurements provided quantitative information about the depth profile but simultaneously indicated that the sum of the volume occupancies of water and Nafion in the film was less than unity. We assessed the problem based on two possibilities: voids in the film or "residual water", which cannot be exchanged or is difficult to exchange with water outside.

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Category:Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

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