Chemical Structure of Nitrogen-Doped Graphene with Single Platinum Atoms and Atomic Clusters as a Platform for the PEMFC Electrode

A platform for producing stabilized Pt atoms and clusters through the combination of an N-doped graphene support and atomic layer deposition (ALD) for the Pt catalysts was investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). It was determined, using imaging and spectroscopy techniques, that a wide range of N-dopant types entered the graphene lattice through covalent bonds without largely damaging its structure. Additionally and most notably, Pt atoms and atomic clusters formed in the absence of nanoparticles. This work provides a new strategy for experimentally producing stable atomic and subnanometer cluster catalysts, which can greatly assist the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) development by producing the ultimate surface area to volume ratio catalyst.