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Research Papers

An Integrated Sonication Technique for Electrodeposition of Platinum and Ruthenium on Carbon Nanotubes for Methanol Oxidation

[+] Author and Article Information
Tsung-Kuang Yeh1

Department of Engineering and System Science,  National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2, Kuang Fu Road,Hsinchu 300, Taiwan; Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Science,  National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2, Kuang Fu Road, Hsinchu 300, Taiwantkyeh@mx.nthu.edu.tw

Yu-Ming Chang, Chuen-Horng Tsai, Ming-Chi Tsai

Department of Engineering and System Science,  National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2, Kuang Fu Road, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

Mei-Ya Wang

Nuclear Science and Technology Development Center,  National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2, Kuang Fu Road, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(4), 041007 (Jun 15, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006800 History: Received October 26, 2011; Revised March 26, 2012; Published June 15, 2012; Online June 15, 2012

An electrodeposition technique that could significantly improve the deposition of platinum-ruthenium (Pt-Ru) nanoparticles onto carbon nanotubes (CNTs) directly grown on carbon cloths was adopted in this study. Integrated sonication (IS) was activated during the electrodeposition process conducted in a sulfuric acid (H2 SO4 ) solution containing Pt and Ru precursor chemicals of hexachloroplatinic acid and ruthenium trichloride, respectively, and ethylene glycol (EG) as a dispersing agent. In comparison with our earlier work, this new technique would further reduce the size of Pt-Ru particles from 4-6 nm to 2-3 nm and lead to a more even and higher surface distribution of these nanoparticles on the CNTs. In addition, the loadings of Pt and Ru on the CNTs were both markedly increased. Electrochemical characteristics of methanol oxidation on specimens bearing these catalysts (Pt-Ru/CNTs) were investigated via cyclic voltammetry analysis in mixed 1 M methanol and 0.5 M sulfuric acid solutions. It was found that the peak current density of methanol oxidation obtained from the cyclic voltammogram on the new Pt-Ru/CNTs specimen was nearly three times of that on the specimen prepared with EG in the absence of IS. The outcome signified better catalyst morphology and distribution and a significantly improved methanol oxidation efficiency of the new specimen prepared in the mixed EG and H2 SO4 solution by electrodeposition in the presence of IS.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

TEM images of agglomerated Pt-Ru particles electrodeposited on CNTs

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Figure 2

SEM images of CNTs directly grown on carbon cloths

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Figure 3

SEM images of specimens A1, A2, B1, and B2. Higher surface distributions of the catalysts were observed for specimens B1 and B2 of which the catalysts were prepared by electrodeposition under IS.

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Figure 4

TEM images of specimens A1, A2, B1, and B2

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Figure 5

XRD results of specimens A1, A2, B1, and B2, showing shifted diffraction angles at Pt (111) peaks

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Figure 6

Cyclic voltammograms of specimens A1, A2, B1, and B2 in N2 saturated 0.5 M H2 SO4 aqueous solutions. The CV scan rate was 50 mV s−1 .

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Figure 7

Cyclic voltammograms of specimens A1, A2, B1, and B2 in the mixed solution of 0.5 M H2 SO4 and 1 M methanol that was purged with nitrogen. The CV scan rate was 20 mV s−1 .

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