Synthesis and Electrochemical Characteristics of Highly Dispersed Platinum Nanoparticles on Different Carbon Supports for PEMFC

Tien-Hsiang Tsai ,  Tsong-Pyng Perng 

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), 101, Sec 2, Kuang-Fu Road, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan

Abstract

Commercial XC-72 carbon black, multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT), and bamboo charcoal were used as carbon supports for Pt catalyst for application in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Due to the unique morphology of carbon nanotube, there are less geometric barriers than XC-72 for deposition of Pt. Accumulation of platinum particles could be decreased by using carbon nanotube as support. Surface treatment on MWCNTs has been studied for many years. In order to get more active sites on the surface of MWCNTs, a sonochemical treatment with sulfuric acid and nitric acid was made. By this process, functional groups such as carbonyl (-CO), hydroxylic (-COH), and carboxylic (-COOH) can be created on the surface of carbon nanotubes. Bamboo charcoal has a very large surface area. There are many pores on the surface to make easier gas diffusion. Chloroplatinic acid was used as the precursor, and ethylene glycol was used as the solvent and reducing agent to get well-dispersed platinum nanoparticles on the carbon supports. The particle size and dispersion of platinum particles are two key factors to determine the performance of catalysts. In this experiment, platinum particle size was controlled by changing the loading percentage of platinum. The deposition of Pt was characterized by X-ray diffraction, thermal gravimetric analysis, and transmission electron microscopy. It was found that platinum particles were well-dispersed on all carbon supports. The average diameter of platinum particles was lower than 3nm. The performance of single-cell PEMFC using the Pt deposited on various supports was evaluated.

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Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006, Symposium B, by Tien-Hsiang Tsai
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006

Submitted: 2006-05-14 14:13
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44
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