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Toward Highly Stable Electrocatalysts via Nanoparticle Pore Confinement

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons58560

Galeano Nunez,  Diana Carolina
Research Department Schüth, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons58443

Bongard,  Hans-Josef
Service Department Lehmann (EMR), Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons58985

Schüth,  Ferdi
Research Department Schüth, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Galeano Nunez, D. C., Meier, J. C., Peinecke, V., Bongard, H.-J., Katsounaros, I., Topalov, A. A., et al. (2012). Toward Highly Stable Electrocatalysts via Nanoparticle Pore Confinement. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134(50), 20457-20465. doi:10.1021/ja308570c.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-A51D-1
Abstract
The durability of electrode materials is a limiting parameter for many electrochemical energy conversion systems. In particular, electrocatalysts for the essential oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) present some of the most challenging instability issues shortening their practical lifetime. Here, we report a mesostructured graphitic carbon support, Hollow Graphitic Spheres (HGS) with a specific surface area exceeding 1000 m(2) g(-1) and precisely controlled pore structure, that was specifically developed to overcome the long-term catalyst degradation, while still sustaining high activity. The synthetic pathway leads to platinum nanoparticles of approximately 3 to 4 nm size encapsulated in the HGS pore structure that are stable at 850 degrees C and, more importantly, during simulated accelerated electrochemical aging. Moreover, the high stability of the cathode electrocatalyst is also retained in a fully assembled polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Identical location scanning and scanning transmission electron microscopy (IL-SEM and IL-STEM) conclusively proved that during electrochemical cycling the encapsulation significantly suppresses detachment and agglomeration of Pt nanoparticles, two of the major degradation mechanisms in fuel cell catalysts of this particle size. Thus, beyond providing an improved electrocatalyst, this study describes the blueprint for targeted improvement of fuel cell catalysts by design of the carbon support.