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Oxygen Reduction Reaction on Polycrystalline Platinum: On the Activity Enhancing Effect of Polyvinylidene Difluoride

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, 3006 Bern, Switzerland
Department of Physical Sciences, Harold Washington College, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Surfaces 2019, 2(1), 69-77;
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical Surface Science: Basics and Applications)
PDF [1971 KB, uploaded 19 February 2019]


There have been several reports concerning the performance improving properties of additives, such as polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), to the membrane or electrocatalyst layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). However, it is not clear if the observed performance enhancement is due to kinetic, mass transport, or anion blocking effects of the PVDF. In a previous investigation using a thin-film rotating disk electrode (RDE) approach (of decreased complexity as compared to membrane electrode assembly (MEA) tests), a performance increase for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) could be confirmed. However, even in RDE measurements, reactant mass transport in the catalyst layer cannot be neglected. Therefore, in the present study, the influence of PVDF is re-examined by coating polycrystalline bulk Pt electrodes by PVDF and measuring ORR activity. The results on polycrystalline bulk Pt indicate that the effects of PVDF on the reaction kinetics and anion adsorption are limited, and that the observed performance increase on high surface area Pt/C most likely is due to an erroneous estimation of the electrochemical active surface area (ECSA) from CO stripping and Hupd. View Full-Text
Keywords: ORR; Platinum; PVDF; PEMFC ORR; Platinum; PVDF; PEMFC

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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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Zana, A.; Wiberg, G.K.H.; Arenz, M. Oxygen Reduction Reaction on Polycrystalline Platinum: On the Activity Enhancing Effect of Polyvinylidene Difluoride. Surfaces 2019, 2, 69-77.

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