Electrospun Ni nanofibres as Pt supports for PEMFC electrodes

Thursday, October 15, 2015: 16:40
211-A (Phoenix Convention Center)
G. Ercolano, S. Cavaliere, D. J. Jones (CNRS - ICGM - AIME - University of Montpellier), and J. Rozière (CNRS - ICGM - AIME - University of Montpellier)
A thriving market for emerging and established mobile devices, operating on electrical energy is pushing the research and the market demands towards continuous sustainable and clean sources of energy. In particular key operators of the automotive industry are seeking a leading market position introducing hybrid and electric vehicles.  Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) provide clean and long lasting electrical energy while being portable and operated at relatively low temperatures and would be the obvious power source for those applications. However a reduction of the fabrication costs and an improved durability are pivotal to a successful market introduction of this technology. A more effective utilisation of the highly priced Pt catalyst and the use of more durable materials for the catalyst supports are the core of the development of novel, market ready PEMFC.

A paradigm shift from Pt nanoparticles supported on carbon to thin layers of platinum deposited on metals, metal oxides or carbon could be achieved adopting electrochemical Pt deposition techniques like the galvanostatic displacement of Ni and Cu ions with Pt 1 , self-terminated Pt electrodeposition 2 or electrochemical atomic layer deposition 1. This novel morphologies could push the boundary of Pt exploitation further and vastly increase the stability of the electrodes, therefore the sought after reduction of fabrication costs and increased stability are within the reach of current researches.

Electrospinning is a proven technique and is reliable and scalable for the production of nanowires made of several metals 3, metal oxides 4 or carbon 5. The capability to finely control the diameter and composition of the nanowires makes this technique appealing in the search of novel catalyst support materials and morphologies. Our research group is actively testing different Pt deposition techniques on electrospun carbon, metal oxide nanowires, pristine and doped, as well as metallic nanowires.

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2.           Liu, Y., Gokcen, D., Bertocci, U. & Moffat, T. P. Self-terminating growth of platinum films by electrochemical deposition. Science 338,1327–30 (2012).

3.           Wu, H. et al. Electrospun metal nanofiber webs as high-performance transparent electrode. Nano Lett. 10,4242–8 (2010).

4.           Cavaliere, S., Subianto, S., Savych, I., Jones, D. J. & Rozière, J. Electrospinning: designed architectures for energy conversion and storage devices. Energy Environ. Sci.(2011).

5.           Qiu, Y. et al. Nitrogen-doped ultrathin carbon nanofibers derived from electrospinning: Large-scale production, unique structure, and application as electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction. J. Power Sources 196, 9862–9867 (2011).