Electrochimica Acta, Vol.162, 282-289, 2015
Particle size effects of sulfonated graphene supported Pt nanoparticles on ethanol electrooxidation
Fuel cells are promising alternative in automobile and stationary power generation. Direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) offer significant advantages due to the non-toxicity and renewability of ethanol as well as its high power density. Development of the efficient catalysts for ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) has attracted great attention and represents one of the major challenges in electrocatalysis. Graphene, one-atom thick nanocarbon materials, has attracted much attention recently in a variety of applications. The sulfonation of graphene is able to make it hydrophilic, which enhances its dispersibility in aqueous solvents. Furthermore, sulfonation increases the adsorption and uniform distribution of the Pt nanoparticles, which increases both the electrocatalytic activity and the durability. In this study, theoretical calculations demonstrated that the sulfonate functional group can donate charge to Pt, enhanced the adsorption energy of Pt, and then reduce the adsorption energy of CO on Pt. Then experimentally five kinds of Pt/sulfonated-graphene (Pt/sG) catalysts were synthesized via the control of pH values during the preparation of five-selected colloidal nanoparticles. Among all catalysts, Pt-sG (2.5 nm) has the highest peak current density in EOR. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.