Type of Document Thesis Author Ku, Chung-Lin Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-11132007-153505 Title Nanotube Buckypaper Electrodes for PEM Fuel Cell Applications Degree Master of Science Department Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Zhiyong (Richard) Liang Committee Chair Ben Wang Committee Member Chuck Zhang Committee Member Jim P. Zheng Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 2007-11-06 Availability unrestricted AbstractMany researchers proposed the use of carbon nanotubes as an advanced metal catalyst support for electrocatalysis applications. In this research, buckypaper (thin film of preformed nanotube network) electrodes with different weight ratios of carbon nanomaterials, including SWNT, MWNT, CNF, and Vulcan XC-72 (CB), were fabricated and compared by their electrochemical properties using cyclic voltammetry (CV) test.
Platinum (Pt) nanoparticles were successfully electrodeposited on the mixed buckypapers in mixed ethylene glycol, H2PtCl6, and H2SO4 aqueous solutions by applying a potential pulse at 0.2 and -0.25 V, forming Pt/mixed buckypaper electrodes.
The dispersion and particle size of Pt nanoparticles on the buckypapers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The average diameter of Pt nanoparticles on the buckypapers was 10 nm.
Surface areas of the Pt nanoparticles on the mixed buckypapers were determined by cyclic voltammogram measurements in 0.5 M H2SO4 solution, and electrocatalytic performances of the resultant buckypaper electrodes were observed.
Compared to the Pt/CB electrodes, the Pt/SWNT+MWNT buckypaper electrode exhibits higher electrocatalytic performance. The highest electrochemical surface area (ECSA) of Pt/SWNT+MWNT (1:3) electrodes reaches 43.7m2/g and is about 1.6 times higher than that of the Pt/CB electrode. This may be attributed to the small particle size and good dispersion of platinum, high conducting property of carbon nanotubes, special deposition phenomenon, and unique three–dimension electrode structure.
The research results suggest that mixed buckypapers are good candidates for catalyst supports in fuel cell applications because of their high electrocatalytic performance. The reduction of the amount of precious metal catalyst (Pt) needed is important for real-world applications.
Further research into the optimization of Pt deposition and nanostructure of mixed buckypapers could lead to highly efficient and potentially affordable electrodes for fuel cell applications.
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