Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Direct Oxidation of Methanol on Pt Nanostructures Supported on Electrospun Nanofibers of Anatase

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Summer 2008


This letter reports an electrocatalytic study of electrospun anatase nanofibers decorated with Pt catalysts in the form of nanoparticles or nanowires. We decorated the surface of nanofibers with Pt through a polyol process, in which nanoparticles of 2−5 nm in size were formed with different densities depending on the reaction time. By adding Fe(III) ions to the polyol process, we also obtained Pt nanowires of ∼7 nm in diameter and up to 125 nm in length. We then studied the effects of both the coverage and morphology of the Pt nanostructures on the methanol oxidation reaction. Nanofibers with a submonolayer of Pt nanoparticles were found to display improved catalytic durability over commercial Pt/C as determined by chronoamperometry owing to a synergistic effect of the underlying anatase surface and the Pt nanostructures with well-defined facets. Improvement in catalytic activity and durability were also observed for Pt nanowires, indicating that the additional catalytic facets on the nanowires can enhance both catalytic ability and robustness.





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