Pt/rGO catalysts: (a) Schematic representation of the synthesis process; (b and c) TEM images and histograms of particle size distribution of Pt nanoparticles; (d and e) and commercial Pt/C catalysts in acidic and basic media. The comparative results of the comparisons of (f and g) with commercial Pt/C catalysts in acidic and alkaline media.
With the rapid consumption of non-renewable energy and the emergence of numerous environmental pollution problems, the human demand for a€?greena€? energy is also more urgent. As one of many a€?greena€? energy sources, the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) converts the chemical energy of methanol and oxidants directly into electrical energy. Due to its advantages of cheap fuel, simple structure, high energy density and conversion rate, and near-zero pollution, this kind of fuel cell has attracted the attention of many researchers. At present, most of the electrode catalysts used in direct methanol fuel cells are platinum-based catalysts, and such catalysts have high preparation costs, poor catalytic activity, and poor stability, which seriously hinder the commercialization of DMFC. Therefore, the synthesis of a platinum-based composite catalyst with high catalytic activity and low cost is of great significance for the development of DMFC.
Recently, based on the Liquid Ablation in Liquids (LAL) technology, researchers at the Institute of Solid State Physics, Hefei Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, developed a simple and a€?greena€? synthesis method for the preparation of Pt/rGO nanocomposites. material. Figure (a) shows a schematic of the synthesis of this composite. LAL-induced high activity manganese colloid (MnOx) particles can be uniformly supported on graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets to form MnOx/rGO nanocomposites. This highly active MnOx particle can not only reduce PtCl62a?’ and GO simultaneously as a reducing agent, but also can be used as a sacrificial template to fix the reduced ultrafine Pt nanoparticles in situ. The resulting Pt nanoparticles have a particle size of about 1.8 nm (Figures b and c) and are evenly distributed on the rGO nanoplatelets.
Compared to commercial Pt/C catalysts, this Pt/rGO catalyst exhibits high catalytic activity (Figures d and e) and stability for methanol oxidation in either acidic or alkaline media (Figure f and g). The above results indicate that the synthesized Pt/rGO catalyst has potential application prospects in DMFC, and this synthetic method provides a new idea for the future synthesis of noble metal/graphene nanocomposites.
Related work has been published on ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces (ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 7, 22935a?’22940). The study was supported by the National Key Basic Research Development Plan (No. 2014CB931704) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
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