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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 12, 2023
  2. Commercial proton exchange membrane heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles will require a five-fold increase in durability compared to current state-of-the art light-duty fuel cell vehicles. We describe a new composite membrane that incorporates silicotungstic heteroply acid (HPA),α-K8SiW11O40▪13H2O, a radical decomposition catalyst and when acid-exchanged can potentially conduct protons. The HPA was covalently bound to a terpolymer of tetrafluoroethylene, vinylidene fluoride, and sulfonyl fluoride containing monomer (1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4-octafluoro-4-((1,2,2-trifluorovinyl)oxy)butane-1-sulfonyl fluoride) by dehydrofluorination followed by addition of diethyl (4-hydroxyphenyl) phosphonate, giving a perfluorosulfonic acid-vinylidene fluoride-heteropoly acid (PFSA-VDF-HPA). A composite membrane was fabricated using a blend of the PFSA-VDF-HPA and the 800EW 3M perfluoro sulfonic acid polymer. The bottom liner-side of the membrane tended to have a higher proportion of HPA moieties compared to the air-side as gravity caused the higher mass density PFSA-VDF-HPA to settle. The composite membrane was shown to have less swelling, more hydrophobic properties, and higher crystallinity than the pure PFSA membrane. The proton conductivity of the membrane was 0.130 ± 0.03 S cm−1at 80 °C and 95% RH. Impressively, when the membrane with HPA-rich side was facing the anode, the membrane survived more than 800 h under accelerated stress test conditions of open-circuit voltage, 90 °C and 30% RH.

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  3. Abstract

    Bandgap gradient is a proven approach for improving the open-circuit voltages (VOCs) in Cu(In,Ga)Se2and Cu(Zn,Sn)Se2thin-film solar cells, but has not been realized in Cd(Se,Te) thin-film solar cells, a leading thin-film solar cell technology in the photovoltaic market. Here, we demonstrate the realization of a bandgap gradient in Cd(Se,Te) thin-film solar cells by introducing a Cd(O,S,Se,Te) region with the same crystal structure of the absorber near the front junction. The formation of such a region is enabled by incorporating oxygenated CdS and CdSe layers. We show that the introduction of the bandgap gradient reduces the hole density in the front junction region and introduces a small spike in the band alignment between this and the absorber regions, effectively suppressing the nonradiative recombination therein and leading to improved VOCs in Cd(Se,Te) solar cells using commercial SnO2buffers. A champion device achieves an efficiency of 20.03% with a VOCof 0.863 V.

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  4. Multi-principal element intermetallic nanoparticles are synthesized via disorder-to-order transition. 
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