Shape-Controlled Nanoparticles as Effective Catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells


Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), is considered a promising candidate for the next generation power sources in transportation, stationary and portable applications. However, oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), one of the key reactions occurring on PEMFC is kinetically slow; this has limited performance and further advancement in this kind of fuel cells. Thus, improving the PEMFC efficiency requires a thorough understanding of the ORR mechanism on the desired catalyst. To address the above-mentioned demands, the scope of this thesis is focused on the fundamental understanding of facet-controlled nanoparticles, metal-support interactions, and bimetallic platinum catalysts, utilizing synchrotron-based X-ray absorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electrochemical characterization methods.

It is found that particle size, shape, composition (Pd and Co are the other metals), and the supporting material not only can act as momentous parameters in enhancing the catalytic activity of NPs but also are functioning as vital criteria in boosting the stability.