Identifier

etd-011312-130220

Abstract

Fuel cell, as an alternative green power source for automobiles and portable electronics, has attracted worldwide attention due to its desirable properties such as high energy density and low greenhouse gas emission. Despite great progress in the past decades, several challenges still remain as obstacles for the large-scale commercialization. Among them, the high cost of Pt-based electrode material is considered as a major barrier, while the life span or stability of electrode catalysts is another concern since the electrocatalysts can be easily poisoned during the fuel cell operation. In order to overcome these issues, nanostructured carbon materials, especially carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are studied as catalyst support. In addition, recent research also suggests that the coupling of a second metal element with Pt can effectively protect the electrocatalysts from being poisoned and thus improve their long-term durability. The objective of the present work was to demonstrate an efficient synthetic method for the preparation of CNTs supported binary PtM (M=Ru, Sn) electrocatalysts. In this project, a polymer wrapping technique along with an in-situ polyol reduction strategy was adopted to decorate well-dispersed binary PtM nanoparticles on the surface of modified-CNTs. The unique nanostructures as well as the excellent catalytic activities of the as-prepared nanohybirds were investigated through a diversity of physiochemical and electrochemical characterization techniques. This fabrication method provided a simple and convenient route to assemble Pt-based catalyst on carbon substrates, which is useful for the further development of high-performance fuel cell catalysts.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

MS

Department

Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type

Thesis

Date Accepted

2012-01-13

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

Electrocatalyst, CNTs, Fuel cell

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