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Energies 2016, 9(3), 165; doi:10.3390/en9030165

An Effective Approach towards the Immobilization of PtSn Nanoparticles on Noncovalent Modified Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Ethanol Electrooxidation

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Izumi Taniguchi
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 15 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells)
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Abstract

In this article, we describe an effective method to tether Pt and PtSn nanoparticles (NPs) on polyelectrolyte modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for ethanol electrooxidation. By using a polymer wrapping technique, positively charged polyethyleneimine (PEI) was attached onto carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to provide preferential linking sites for metal precursors. Well-dispersed Pt and PtSn nanocrystals (2–5 nm) were subsequently decorated on PEI-functionalized MWCNTs through the polyol reduction method. The successful non-covalent modification of MWCNTs was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Zeta potential measurements. Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectrum indicates approximately 20 wt % Pt loading and a desirable Pt:Sn atomic ratio of 1:1. Electrochemical analysis demonstrated that the as-synthesized PtSn/PEI-MWCNTs nanocomposite exhibited improved catalytic activity and higher poison tolerance for ethanol oxidation as compared to Pt/PEI-MWCNTs and commercial Pt/XC-72 catalysts. The enhanced electrochemical performance may be attributed to the uniform dispersion of NPs as well as the mitigating of CO self-poisoning effect by the alloying of Sn element. This modification and synthetic strategy will be studied further to develop a diversity of carbon supported Pt-based hybrid nanomaterials for electrocatalysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyethyleneimine (PEI); PtSn nanoparticles (NPs); multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs); ethanol oxidation polyethyleneimine (PEI); PtSn nanoparticles (NPs); multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs); ethanol oxidation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Geng, X.; Cen, Y.; Sisson, R.D.; Liang, J. An Effective Approach towards the Immobilization of PtSn Nanoparticles on Noncovalent Modified Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Ethanol Electrooxidation. Energies 2016, 9, 165.

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