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Issue 17, 2012
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Self-assembled palladium nanocrystals on helical carbon nanofibers as enhanced electrocatalysts for electro-oxidation of small molecules

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Abstract

We present a novel approach to prepare helical carbon nanofibers homogeneously functionalized with single crystal palladium nanoparticles via a phase-transfer method. The materials were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and electrochemical measurements. We find that homogeneous and small single-crystal Pd nanoparticles can be easily functionalized with phenyl mercaptan, transferred into the toluene phase from the dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) phase and then non-covalently self-assembled onto the surface of helical carbon nanofibers with a very good dispersion and homogeneous diameters of 4.5 ± 0.6 nm. The palladium–helical carbon nanofiber composite exhibits significantly higher electrochemical active area and electrocatalytic activity towards the electrooxidation of formic acid, ethanol and methanol than the commercial electrocatalyst Pd/Vulcan XC-72. Our results show that the prepared material can be potentially used as an advanced nano-electrocatalyst in a direct alkaline fuel cell system.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembled palladium nanocrystals on helical carbon nanofibers as enhanced electrocatalysts for electro-oxidation of small molecules

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Nov 2011, accepted on 17 Feb 2012 and first published on 21 Mar 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2JM16075G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 8541-8548
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    Self-assembled palladium nanocrystals on helical carbon nanofibers as enhanced electrocatalysts for electro-oxidation of small molecules

    G. Hu, F. Nitze, T. Sharifi, H. R. Barzegar and T. Wågberg, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 8541
    DOI: 10.1039/C2JM16075G

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