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Electrocatalysts for Methanol Oxidation Based on Platinum/Carbon Nanofibers Nanocomposite

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New carbon nanomaterials, i.e., carbon nanotubes and nanofibers, with special physico-chemical properties, are recently studied as support for methanol oxidation reaction electrocatalysts replacing the most widely used carbon black. Particularly, carbon fibrous structures with high surface area and available open edges are thought to be promising. Platelet type carbon nanofibers, which have the graphene layers oriented perpendicularly to the fiber axis, exhibit a high ratio of edge to basal atoms. Different types of carbon nanofibers (tubular and platelet) were grown by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition on carbon paper substrates. The process was controlled and optimised in term of growth pressure and temperature. Carbon nanofibers were characterised by high resolution scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to assess the morphological properties. Then carbon nanofibers of both morphologies were used as substrates for Pt electrodeposition. High resolution scanning electron microscopy images showed that the Pt nanoparticles distribution was well controlled and the particles size went down to few nanometers. Pt/carbon nanofibers nanocomposites were tested as electrocatalysts for methanol oxidation reaction. Cyclic voltammetry in H2SO4 revealed a catalyst with a high surface area. Cyclic voltammetry in presence of methanol indicated a high electrochemical activity for methanol oxidation reaction and a good long time stability compared to a carbon black supported Pt catalyst.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-10-01

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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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