The design of efficient catalytic layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) requires the preparation of highly-loaded and highly-dispersed Pt/C catalysts. During the last few years, our work focused on the preparation of Pt/carbon xerogel electrocatalysts, starting from simple impregnation techniques that were further optimized via the strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) method to reach high dispersion and a high metal weight fraction. The SEA method, which consists of the optimization of the precursor/support electrostatic impregnation through an adequate choice of the impregnation pH with regard to the support surface chemistry, leads to very well-dispersed Pt/C samples with a maximum 8 wt.% Pt after drying and reduction under H2
. To increase the metal loading, the impregnation-drying-reduction cycle of the SEA method can be repeated several times, either with fresh Pt precursor solution or with the solution recycled from the previous cycle. In each case, a high dispersion (Pt particle size ~3 nm) is obtained. Finally, the procedure can be simplified by combination of the SEA technique with dry impregnation, leading to no Pt loss during the procedure.
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