Platinum decorated aligned carbon nanotubes: Electrocatalyst for improved performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells Academic Article uri icon


  • This study aims to improve the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) using carbon nanotubes as scaffolds to support nanocatalyst for power generation over prolonged time periods, compared to the current designs. The carbon nanotubes are prepared using chemical vapor deposition and decorated by platinum nanoparticles (Pt-NPs) using an amphiphilic approach. The PEMFC devices are then constructed using these aligned carbon nanotubes (ACNTs) decorated with Pt-NPs as the cathode. The electrochemical analyses of the PEMFC devices indicate the maximum power density reaches to 860 mW cm -2 and current density reaches 3200 mA cm -2 at 0.2 V, respectively, when O 2 is introduced into cathode. Importantly, the Pt usage was decreased to less than 0.2 mg cm -2 , determined by X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy as complimentary tools. Electron microscopic analyses are employed to understand the morphology of Pt-ACNT catalyst (with diameter of 4-15 nm and length from 8 to 20 m), which affects PEMFC performance and durability. The Pt-ACNT arrays exhibit unique alignment, which allows for rapid gas diffusion and chemisorption on the catalyst surfaces. 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Yuan, Y., Smith, J. A., Goenaga, G., Liu, D., Luo, Z., & Liu, J.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Yuan, Yuan||Smith, Joshua A||Goenaga, Gabriel||Liu, Di-Jia||Luo, Zhiping||Liu, Jingbo

publication date

  • January 2011