Evolution of Pt Nanoclusters Morphology on PEMFC Electrode due to Methanol Oxidation Reaction Studied by Electron Microscopy and Synchrotron Grazing Incidence X-Ray Diffraction
The proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) have been developed mainly as a power source for vehicles, power generation and consumer electronics since they combine high energy conversion efficiency at relatively low temperatures without pollutants emission in the environment. An electrode for a PEMFC is a layered structure composed by a catalyst layer deposited on a porous carbon substrate. The substrate is usually covered by a diffusion layer that enhances the gas and water flow. Platinum nanoparticles supported by carbon microparticles are commonly employed as catalyst layer. In this work an extreme ultra-low loading of Pt catalyst (< 0.02 mg/cm2) has been deposited by magnetron sputtering on gas diffusion electrodes, with different carbon supports (Vulcan and SuperP), in order to enhance the activity of PEM fuel cells. The morphology (shape and grain size) and microstructure have been studied combining field emission scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM), grazing incidence synchrotron x-ray diffraction (GIXRD) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results presented here concern the evolution of the cluster size and shape after the ageing, induced by cyclic voltammetry for methanol oxidation reaction.
P. VINCENZINI and G. MARLETTA
M. Alvisi et al., "Evolution of Pt Nanoclusters Morphology on PEMFC Electrode due to Methanol Oxidation Reaction Studied by Electron Microscopy and Synchrotron Grazing Incidence X-Ray Diffraction", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 51, pp. 181-186, 2006