The ionomers, gas diffusion layers (GDLs), bipolar plates, and interfaces thrust is studying how ionomers in electrode layers and membranes interact with catalysts and support materials and determining how to design interfaces between the membrane, the catalyst layer, the GDLs, and bipolar plates to get the highest-performing individual cell components.

Component Thrusts

1Electrocatalysts & Supports 

2Electrode Layers 

3Ionomers, Gas Diffusion Layers, Bipolar Plates, & Interfaces

Cross-Cutting Thrusts

4Modeling & Validation 

5Operando Evaluation 

6Component Characterization & Diagnostics 

 Research Focus

Membranes and Ionomer Films

FC-PAD is researching membranes and ionomer films to:

  • Examine state-of-the-art membranes including stabilization and reinforcement—for example, stability of cerium, crack propagation, and structure-function
  • Examine thin-film properties—for example, casting conditions and solvents, chemistry, and substrate.

Gas Diffusion Layers

FC-PAD is researching GDLs to examine water-transport controls and impacts through in-situ and accelerated stress test (AST) characterization.

Bipolar Plates

FC-PAD is researching bipolar plates to examine leachate ions and corrosion products and contact resistance.


FC-PAD is researching interfaces to investigate the GDL/channel droplet interface, catalyst layer interface, and areas of high porosity.

Participating Labs

These national laboratories will conduct the foundational technical work in the ionomers, gas diffusion layers, bipolar plates, and interfaces thrust area:

See lab capabilities 


Ahmet Kusoglu
Ionomers, Gas Diffusion Layers, Bipolar Plates, and Interfaces Thrust Coordinator
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
[email protected]