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Oxygen Reduction Reaction Electrocatalytic Activity of SAD-Pt/GLAD-Cr Nanorods

  • Wisam J. Khudhayer (a1), Nancy Kariuki (a2), Deborah J. Myers (a2), Ali U. Shaikh (a3) and Tansel Karabacak (a4)...

Abstract

Nanorod arrays of chromium (Cr) were grown on glassy carbon (GC) electrodes by a dc magnetron sputtering glancing angle deposition (GLAD) technique. The Cr nanorods were used as low-cost, high surface area, metallic supports for a conformal layer of Pt thin film catalyst, as a potential low-loading electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. A dc magnetron sputtering small angle deposition (SAD) technique was utilized for a conformal coating of Pt on Cr nanorods. The ORR activity of SAD-Pt/GLAD-Cr electrodes was investigated using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and rotating-disk electrode (RDE) techniques in a 0.1 M HClO4 solution at room temperature. A reference sample consisting of GLAD Cr nanorods coated with a Pt thin film deposited at normal incidence (θ = 0o) was prepared and compared with the SAD-Pt/GLAD-Cr nanorods. Compared to GLAD Cr nanorods coated with Pt thin film at θ = 0o, the SAD-Pt/GLAD-Cr nanorod electrode exhibited higher ECSA and area-specific and mass-specific ORR activity. These results indicate that the growth of catalyst layer on the base-metal nanorods by the SAD technique provides a more conformal and possibly a nanostructured coating, significantly enhancing the catalyst utilization.

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