Monodispersed PtCo nanoparticles on hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide treated graphene as an effective oxygen reduction reaction catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Kwan Woo Nam, Jongchan Song, Keun Hwan Oh, Min Ju Choo, Hyunah Park, Jung Ki Park, Jang Wook Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-functionalized graphene as a carbon support for Pt or PtCo nanoparticle (NP) catalysts for fuel cell cathodes. The CTAB treatment plays several critical roles in improving the cell performance: CTAB is non-covalently bound on the graphene surfaces and also functionalizes NP surfaces, thus minimizing aggregation between graphene sheets as well as between NPs with extremely small dimensions down to 1-2 nm for a large number of cycles. Also, unlike covalent bonding based treatments, the CTAB treatment preserves intrinsic electronic and structural properties of graphene. The increased dispersion and decreased dissolution of NP catalysts using the CTAB functionalization are reflected in various electrochemical measurements such that the CTAB-treated samples exhibit higher values in oxygen reduction reaction activity, electrochemical active surface area, and long-term durability compared to commercial catalysts and control cases with no such treatment. Finally, for the same CTAB-treated graphene, PtCo catalyst shows a higher catalytic activity than does Pt catalyst, thus confirming the known improved activities of the alloyed catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3739-3747
Number of pages9
JournalCarbon
Volume50
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) (NRF-2009-0094219 and NRF-2010-0029031) and by a Grant from by the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) Grant (WCU program, 31-2008-000-10055-0) funded by the Ministry of Education and Science & Technology (MEST).

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