A Pt–Co3O4–CD electrocatalyst with enhanced electrocatalytic performance and resistance to CO poisoning achieved by carbon dots and Co3O4 for direct methanol fuel cells
Highly efficient electrocatalysts remain huge challenges in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Here, a Pt–Co3O4–CDs/C composite was fabricated as an anode electrocatalyst with low Pt content (12 wt%) by using carbon dots (CDs) and Co3O4 nanoparticles as building blocks. The Pt–Co3O4–CDs/C composite catalyst shows a significantly enhanced electrocatalytic activity (1393.3 mA mg−1 Pt), durability (over 4000 s) and CO-poisoning tolerance. The superior catalytic activity should be attributed to the synergistic effect of CDs, Pt and Co3O4. Furthermore, the Pt–Co3O4–CDs/C catalyst was integrated into a single cell, which exhibits a maximum power density of 45.6 mW cm−2, 1.7 times the cell based on the commercial 20 wt% Pt/C catalyst.