The use of ionic and non-ionic surfactants for the control of platinum nanoparticle aggregation in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)

Bruno G. Pollet, Jill E. Newton, Jon A. Preece, Oliver J. Curnick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This investigation focuses on the aggregation behaviour of Pt catalyst nanoparticles in PEMFCs. Here, Pt nanoparticles were prepared using various surfactants which are known to prevent aggregation. Dispersed nanoparticles are thought to have a higher available electrochemical surface area, hence exhibiting higher catalytic activity than aggregated nanoparticles. In our study, Pt nanoparticles were prepared in aqueous dispersion using tetradecyltrimethylammonium bromide (C 14TAB), cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (C 16TAB) and nonylphenolethoxylate (NP9). The aggregation behaviour of the nanoparticles was studied using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Nanosight and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). Electrochemical experiments on Pt Rotating Disc Electrode (RDE) in the absence and presence of surfactants at 298 K show that the surfactants have a marked effect on the obtained linear sweep voltammograms (LSVs). The movement of the onset potential to lower overpotentials suggests that the surfactant is 'poisoning' catalytic sites on the electrode. This also demonstrates that the surfactant selection is vital to obtaining effective PEMFC cathode catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells 11
Pages2165-2173
Number of pages9
Edition1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event11th Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Symposium, PEFC 11 - 220th ECS Meeting - Boston, United States
Duration: 9 Oct 201114 Oct 2011

Publication series

NameECS Transactions
Number1
Volume41
ISSN (Print)1938-5862
ISSN (Electronic)1938-6737

Conference

Conference11th Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Symposium, PEFC 11 - 220th ECS Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period9/10/1114/10/11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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    Pollet, B. G., Newton, J. E., Preece, J. A., & Curnick, O. J. (2011). The use of ionic and non-ionic surfactants for the control of platinum nanoparticle aggregation in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells 11 (1 ed., pp. 2165-2173). (ECS Transactions; Vol. 41, No. 1). https://doi.org/10.1149/1.3635747