Research Highlights

Platinum decoration

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.320 Published online 27 October 2009

Researchers have designed a novel electrocatalyst by dispersing platinum (Pt) along the inner and outer walls of carbon nanofiber (CNF) that gives rise to smarter fuel cell electrodes1.

These new electrodes are expected to outperform the conventional electrodes.

The researchers chose nanofibers because they have a large central hollow core and open tips. To devise the electrocatalyst, they functionalised the nanofibers using hydrogen peroxide and then dispersed the Pt with a special method called modified polyol process.

In electrochemical studies involving methanol oxidation reactions, the new functionalised nanofiber-based catalyst showed almost double the electrochemical active area and four times higher efficiency than other catalysts.

The new catalyst will help make fuel cell electrodes with low resistance, better reactant distribution and improved water management.

"Besides platinum, palladium decoration can significantly improve the hydrogen storage capacity of CNF," says lead researcher Sreekumar Kurungot from the physical and materials chemistry division of National Chemical Laboratory, Pune.


References

  1. Balan, K. B. et al. Carbon Nanofiber with Selectively Decorated Pt Both on Inner and Outer Walls as an Efficient Electrocatalyst for Fuel Cell Applications. J. Phys. Chem. C. 113, 17572-17578 (2009)  | Article |