Passive dew droplet removal from hydrogen sensors for fuel cell applications

Masataka Kano, Makoto Ishii, Haruo Yoshinaga, Masayoshi Esashi, Shuji Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes three structures to passively remove condensed water droplets from a gas heat conduction type hydrogen sensor for fuel cell applications. The three structures are A: water-repellent coating surrounded by water-absorbing porous ceramic coating, B: suspended porous membrane over a water-repellent sensor surface and C: wettability gradient for water droplet elimination. A real hydrogen sensor was used as a platform for the water-droplet-removal structures. Using helium instead of hydrogen, A and B type sensors and a reference sensor without water-droplet-removal structures were tested in a wet and hot atmosphere simulating a fuel cell environment. B type sensor showed normal output even after exposure to a dew-condensing atmosphere, while the reference and A type sensors showed abnormal output, suggesting dew condensation on the sensor surfaces. For C type sensor, a photochromic compound film on a super-water-repellent undercoat, which changes its wettability by ultraviolet exposure, was used. It was confirmed that the wettability could be controlled by ultraviolet exposure from 157.9° to 72.8° in water contact angle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
JournalIEEJ Transactions on Sensors and Micromachines
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec 24


  • Dew droplet removal
  • Fuel cell
  • Hydrogen sensor
  • Wettability gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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