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Improving PEM Fuel Cell Catalysts Using Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Supports

[+] Author Affiliations
Yingke Zhou, Robert Pasquarelli, Ryan O’Hayre

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

Joe Berry, David Ginley

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Paper No. FuelCell2008-65172, pp. 69-77; 9 pages
  • ASME 2008 6th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2008 6th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, June 16–18, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4318-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3822-6
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


This study experimentally examines the effect of nitrogen doping on the activity of Pt/C catalyst systems. The investigation was accomplished through the development of geometrically well-defined model catalytic systems consisting of tunable assemblies of Pt catalyst nanoparticles deposited onto both N-doped and undoped highly-oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) substrates. N-doping was achieved via ion beam implantation, and Pt was electrodeposited from solutions of H2 PtCl6 in aqueous HClO4 . Morphology from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and catalytic activity measurement from aqueous electrochemical analysis were utilized to examine the N-doping effects. The results strongly support the theory that doping nitrogen into a graphite support significantly affects both the morphology and behavior of the overlying Pt nanoparticles. In particular, nitrogen-doping was observed to cause a significant decrease in the average Pt nanoparticle size, an increase in the Pt nanoparticle dispersion, and a significant increase in catalytic activity for both methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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