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Ultrafine Pt Nanoparticles Stabilized by MoS2/N-Doped Reduced Graphene Oxide as a Durable Electrocatalyst for Alcohol Oxidation and Oxygen Reduction Reactions

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journal contribution
posted on 08.03.2019, 00:00 authored by S. Ramakrishnan, Mohanraju Karuppannan, Mohanraj Vinothkannan, K. Ramachandran, Oh Joong Kwon, Dong Jin Yoo
Direct alcohol fuel cells play a pivotal role in the synthesis of catalysts because of their low cost, high catalytic activity, and long durability in half-cell reactions, which include anode (alcohol oxidation) and cathode (oxygen reduction) reactions. However, platinum catalysts suffer from CO tolerance, which affects their stability. The present study focuses on ultrafine Pt nanoparticles stabilized by flowerlike MoS2/N-doped reduced graphene oxide (Pt@MoS2/NrGO) architecture, developed via a facile and cost-competitive approach that was performed through the hydrothermal method followed by the wet-reflux strategy. Fourier transform infrared spectra, X-ray diffraction patterns, Raman spectra, X-ray photoelectron spectra, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy verified the conversion to Pt@MoS2/NrGO. Pt@MoS2/NrGO was applied as a potential electrocatalyst toward the anode reaction (liquid fuel oxidation) and the cathode reaction (oxygen reduction). In the anode reaction, Pt@MoS2/NrGO showed superior activity toward electro-oxidation of methanol, ethylene glycol, and glycerol with mass activities of 448.0, 158.0, and 147.0 mA/mgPt, respectively, approximately 4.14, 2.82, and 3.34 times that of a commercial Pt–C (20%) catalyst. The durability of the Pt@MoS2/NrGO catalyst was tested via 500 potential cycles, demonstrating less than 20% of catalytic activity loss for alcohol fuels. In the cathode reaction, oxygen reduction reaction results showed excellent catalytic activity with higher half-wave potential at 0.895 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode for Pt@MoS2/NrGO. The durability of the Pt@MoS2/NrGO catalyst was tested via 30 000 potential cycles and showed only 15 mV reduction in the half-wave potential, whereas the Pt@NrGO and Pt–C catalysts experienced a much greater shift (Pt@NrGO, ∼23 mV; Pt–C, ∼20 mV).