3 years ago

3D Analysis of Fuel Cell Electrocatalyst Degradation on Alternate Carbon Supports

3D Analysis of Fuel Cell Electrocatalyst Degradation on Alternate Carbon Supports
Rangachary Mukundan, David A. Langlois, Karren L. More, Rodney L. Borup, Ondrej E. Dyck, Kimberly S. Reeves, David A. Cullen, Brian T. Sneed
Understanding the mechanisms associated with Pt/C electrocatalyst degradation in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) cathodes is critical for the future development of higher-performing materials; however, there is a lack of information regarding Pt coarsening under PEMFC operating conditions within the cathode catalyst layer. We report a direct and quantitative 3D study of Pt dispersions on carbon supports (high surface area carbon (HSAC), Vulcan XC-72, and graphitized carbon) with varied surface areas, graphitic character, and Pt loadings ranging from 5 to 40 wt %. This is accomplished both before and after catalyst-cycling accelerated stress tests (ASTs) through observations of the cathode catalyst layer of membrane electrode assemblies. Electron tomography results show Pt nanoparticle agglomeration occurs predominantly at junctions and edges of aggregated graphitized carbon particles, leading to poor Pt dispersion in the as-prepared catalysts and increased coalescence during ASTs. Tomographic reconstructions of Pt/HSAC show much better initial Pt dispersions, less agglomeration, and less coarsening during ASTs in the cathode. However, a large loss of the electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) is still observed and is attributed to accelerated Pt dissolution and nanoparticle coalescence. Furthermore, a strong correlation between Pt particle/agglomerate size and measured ECSA is established and is proposed as a more useful metric than average crystallite size in predicting degradation behavior across different catalyst systems.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b09716

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b09716

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.