Stable alternative catalyst supports to replace conventional carbon-based materials in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are being explored to achieve dramatic improvements in the performance and durability of fuel cells. Herein, conductive Ti3+ self-doped and carbon-coated TiO2-reduced graphene oxide (rGO) hollow nanosphere-supported Pt nanoparticles (Pt/rGO/TiO2) are investigated as cathode electrocatalysts for PEMFCs. Importantly, the rGO/TiO2 hollow nanospheres display excellent electrochemical stability under high potential cycling (1.2–1.7 V) compared with conventional carbon black (CB) support materials that normally induce electrochemical corrosion during fuel cell operation. The Pt/rGO/TiO2 is tested to establish its catalytic activity and stability using accelerated durability testing that mimics the conditions and degradation modes encountered during long-term fuel cell operation. The Pt/rGO/TiO2 cathode catalyst demonstrates comparable catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction and exhibits much higher stability than the Pt/CB one at high potentials in terms of minimal loss of the Pt electrochemical surface area. More importantly, Pt/rGO/TiO2 displays a negligible voltage drop over long-term cycling during practical fuel cell operation. The high stability of the Pt/rGO/TiO2 electrocatalyst synthesized in this investigation offers a new approach to improve the reliability and durability of PEMFC cathode catalysts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
C.H.S. and R.B. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the KIST Institutional Program (2E27301), the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean government (2017R1A2A1A05022387), and the Global Frontier R&D Program on Center for Multiscale Energy System funded by the Nation Research Foundation under the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning, Korea (2016M3A6A7945505). This work was also financially supported by the KIST-UNIST partnership program (2V05120/1.160097.01). This work was supported by the New and Renewable Energy of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20153010031920). This research was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, & Future Planning (NRF-2015M1A2A2056690).
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- catalyst support
- enhanced stability
- hollow structures
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering