Electrochemical Atomic-level Controlled Syntheses of Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction
It is becoming apparent that the electrocatalysts consisting of a platinum (Pt) monolayer (ML) shell on a metal, or alloy nanoparticle cores are one of the most promising classes of fuel cell catalysts offering ultra-low Pt content, complete Pt utilization, very high activity and excellent performance stability. In this chapter, the electrochemical strategies for depositing a Pt ML-shell on various nanostructured cores are discussed. The advantages of the electrodeposition techniques over the conventional chemical methods for synthesis of electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction are described. Illustrations include the electrodeposition of Pt ML on mono- and bi-metallic (Pd, PdAu, PdIr, NiW) nanostructures on functionalized carbons that creates highly efficient cathode electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. These features, and a simple scale-up of this syntheses, make the electrodeposition strategies a viable way of solving the remaining obstacles hindering the fuel cell commercialization.