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Carbon Nanotubes Based Methanol Sensor for Fuel Cells Application

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An electrochemical sensor is built using vertically grown multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) micro-array to detect methanol concentration in water. This study is done for the potential use of the array as methanol sensor for portable units of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Platinum (Pt) nanoparticles electro-deposited CNTs (Pt/CNTs) electrode shows high sensitivity in the measurement of methanol concentration in water with cyclic voltammetry (CV) measurement at room temperature. Further investigation has also been undertaken to measure the concentration by changing the amount of the mixture of methanol and formic acid in water. We compared the performance of our micro array sensor built with Pt/CNTs electrodes versus that of Pt wire electrode using CV measurement. We found that our Pt/CNTs array sensor shows high sensitivity and detects methanol concentrations in the range of 0.04 M to 0.10 M. In addition, we found that co-use of formic acid as electrolyte enables us to measure up to 1.0 M methanol concentration.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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