Electrocatalysts for Fuel Cells: From the Nanoscale to the Macroscale

Wednesday, May 14, 2014: 15:00
Floridian Ballroom F, Lobby Level (Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek)
Y. E. Sung (Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science, and School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University)
Due to being highly efficient and environmentally friendly, fuel cells are one of the most promising energy conversion devices to power the energy demands of the future. However, commercialization of fuel cells is hindered by the sluggish kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction.  Therefore methods to improve the specific activity of catalysts that facilitate the oxygen reduction reaction have been and continue to be a popular area of research. Accomplishments that have been achieved due to tailoring the activity of catalyst by alloying and core-shell at the nanoscale level will be discussed. Briefly, alloying Pt with another transition metal results in electrical and structural modifications as well as bifunctional behaviour at the alloy surface. These modifications lead to higher catalytic activity relative to pure Pt in fuel cells.  Also, since electrocatalytic reactions are strongly dependent on the surface structure of metal catalysts, the atom-level design of the surface structure plays a significant role in a high catalytic activity and the utilization of electrocatalysts. Furthermore, I will present studies regarding the tuning of the electronic and geometric structures of Pt via adsorption of molecules and atomic arrangement. Finally, our recently developed three-dimensional ordered electrode structure for fuel cells will be presented in the symposium