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Highly active and thermally stable single-atom catalysts for high-temperature electrochemical devices

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Abstract

Single-atom catalysts provide unique catalytic properties and maximize the atom utilization efficiency. While utilizing them at elevated temperatures is highly desirable, their operating temperature is usually kept below 300 °C to prevent isolated atoms from agglomerating. Moreover, their applications in high-temperature electrochemical devices have been hindered by the lack of suitable processing techniques for catalyst loading. Herein, we report single-atom Pt/ceria nanocatalysts that are highly active and thermally stable in solid oxide cells (SOCs) operating at 600–800 °C. Our urea-based chemical solution process creates strong Pt–O–Ce interactions that securely anchor isolated Pt atoms to the surface of ceria nanoparticles and suppress their high-temperature migration. These single-atom Pt/ceria nanocatalysts are loaded in the oxide fuel electrode of a SOC via an in situ synthetic process, which reduces the polarization resistance from 28.2 to 0.82 Ohm cm2 at 600 °C. This electrode outperforms the state-of-the-art Ni-based fuel electrode by up to 10 times and delivers extremely high performance in full SOCs in fuel cell and electrolysis modes. Furthermore, it stably operates at 700 °C for over 500 h under realistic operating conditions. Our results provide guidance to resolve the critical issues for the practical use of single-atom catalysts in various industrial processes and accelerate the commercial development of next-generation high-temperature energy devices.

Graphical abstract: Highly active and thermally stable single-atom catalysts for high-temperature electrochemical devices

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
29 Nov 2019
Accepted
13 Aug 2020
First published
14 Aug 2020

Energy Environ. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Highly active and thermally stable single-atom catalysts for high-temperature electrochemical devices

J. Shin, Y. J. Lee, A. Jan, S. M. Choi, M. Y. Park, S. Choi, J. Y. Hwang, S. Hong, S. G. Park, H. J. Chang, M. K. Cho, J. P. Singh, K. H. Chae, S. Yang, H. Ji, H. Kim, J. Son, J. Lee, B. Kim, H. Lee, J. Hong, Y. J. Lee and K. J. Yoon, Energy Environ. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0EE01680B

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