5 years ago

Surfactant- and Binder-Free Hierarchical Platinum Nanoarrays Directly Grown onto a Carbon Felt Electrode for Efficient Electrocatalysis

Surfactant- and Binder-Free Hierarchical Platinum Nanoarrays Directly Grown onto a Carbon Felt Electrode for Efficient Electrocatalysis
Buchari Buchari, Indra Noviandri, Mikhael Bechelany, Thi Xuan Huong Le, Marc Cretin, Christophe Innocent, Sophie Tingry, Yaovi Holade, Widya Ernayati Kosimaningrum
The future of fuel cells that convert chemical energy to electricity relies mostly on the efficiency of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) due to its sluggish kinetics. By effectively bypassing the use of organic surfactants, the postsynthesis steps for immobilization onto electrodes, catalytic ink preparation using binders, and the common problem of nanoparticles (NPs) detachment from the supports involved in traditional methodologies, we demonstrate a versatile electrodeposition method for growing anisotropic microstructures directly onto a three-dimensional (3D) carbon felt electrode, using platinum NPs as the elementary building blocks. The as-synthesized materials were extensively characterized by integrating methods of physical (thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, inductively coupled plasma, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) and electroanalytical (voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectrometry) chemistry to examine the intricate relationship of material-to-performance and select the best-performing electrocatalyst to be applied in the model reaction of ORR for its practical integration into a microbial fuel cell (MFC). A tightly optimized procedure enables decorating an electrochemically activated carbon felt electrode by 40–60 nm ultrathin 3D-interconnected platinum nanoarrays leading to a hierarchical framework of ca. 500 nm. Half-cell reactions reveal that the highly rough metallic surface exhibits improved activity and stability toward ORR (Eonset ∼ 1.1 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode, p(HO2) < 0.1%) and the hydrogen evolution reaction (−10 mA cm–2 for only 75 mV overpotential). Owing to its unique features, the developed material showed distinguished performance as an air-breathing cathode in a garden compost MFC, exhibiting better current and faster power generation than those of its equivalent classical double chamber. The enhanced performance of the material obtained herein is explained by the absence of any organic surfactants on the surface of the nanoarrays, the good metal–support interaction, particular morphology of the nanoarrays, and the reduced aggregation/detachment of particles. It promises a radical improvement in current surface reactions and paves a new way toward electrodes with regulated surface roughness, allowing for their successful application in heterogeneous catalysis.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b04651

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b04651

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