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Carbon Nanotubes-Supported Pt Electrocatalysts for O2 Reduction Reaction—Effect of Number of Nanotube Walls

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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the most common catalysts supports for the development of electrocatalysts for O2 reduction reaction (ORR) of electrochemical devices such as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and metal-air batteries due to their high electrical conductivity and high stability. In addition to the electrical conductivity and stability, the number of inner tubes or walls also influence the electrocatalytic activity of the supported catalysts. Here we study the electrocatalytic activity of Pt nanoparticles (NPs) supported on CNTs (Pt/CNTs) as a function of number of walls towards ORR in both alkaline and acid solutions. The results indicate that the mechanism of ORR on Pt/CNTs does not change with the number of walls of CNTs support but the number of walls of CNTs supports has a significant effect on the electrocatalytic activity of supported Pt NPs. Pt NPs supported on double-walled CNTs (DWCNTs) exhibit a much better activity for ORR, as compared with that supported on single-walled and multi-walled CNTs (SWCNTs and MWCNTs). The high electrocatalytic activity of DWCNTs-supported Pt NPs is contributed to the fast electron transfer between the outer wall and inner tubes of DWCNTs for ORR through electron tunnelling process under the electrochemical polarization driving force.
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Keywords: Carbon Nanotubes; Electron Tunneling Effect; Oxygen Reduction Reaction; Pt Electrocatalysts

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Electromechanical Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 51006, People’s Republic of China 2: Fuels and Energy Technology Institute and WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6102, Australia

Publication date: May 1, 2020

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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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