In polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs), protons from the anode are transferred to the cathode through the ionomer membrane. By impregnating the ionomer into the electrodes, proton pathways are extended and high proton transfer efficiency can be achieved. Because the impregnated ionomer mechanically binds the catalysts within the electrode, the ionomer is also called a binder. To yield good electrochemical performance, the binder should be homogeneously dispersed in the electrode and maintain stable interfaces with other catalyst components and the membrane. However, conventional binder materials do not have good dispersion properties. In this study, a facile approach based on using a supercritical fluid is introduced to prepare a homogeneous nanoscale dispersion of the binder material in aqueous alcohol. The prepared binder exhibited high dispersion characteristics, crystallinity, and proton conductivity. High performance and durability were confirmed when the binder material was applied
to a PEFC cathode electrode.