Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Nanoscale titania ceramic composite supports for PEM fuel cells

  • Karen J. Armstrong (a1), Lior Elbaz (a1), Eve Bauer (a1), Anthony K. Burrell (a1), Thomas M. McCleskey (a1) and Eric L. Brosha (a1)...

Titanium-based ceramic supports designed for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells were synthesized, and catalytic activity was explored using electrochemical analysis. Synthesis of high surface area TiO2 and TiO supports was accomplished by rapidly heating a gel of polyethyleneimine-bound titanium in a tube furnace under a forming gas atmosphere. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed anatase phase formation for the TiO2 materials and crystallite sizes of less than 10 nm in both cases. Subsequent disposition of platinum through an incipient wetness approach leads to highly dispersed crystallites of platinum, less than 6 nm each, on the conductive supports. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)/energy dispersive x-ray analysis results showed a highly uniform Ti and Pt distribution on the surface of both materials. The supports without platinum are highly stable to acidic aqueous conditions and show no signs of oxygen reduction reactivity (ORR). However, once the 20 wt% platinum is added to the material, ORR activity comparable to XC-72-based materials is observed.

Corresponding author
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
Hide All
1.Borup R.L., Davey J.R., Garzon F.H., Wood D.L., and Inbody M.A.: PEM fuel cell electrocatalyst durability measurements. J. Power Sources 163(1), 76 (2006).
2.Borup R.L., Garzon F.H., Wood D.L., Davey J.R., and Brosha E.L.: PEM electrode durability measurements. Presented at Electrochemical Society, Second International Conference on Polymer Batteries and Fuel Cells June 12-17, 2005, Las Vegas, NV (2005).
3.Bekkedahl T.A., Bregoli L.J., Breault R.D., Dykeman E.A., Meyers J.P., Patterson T.W., Skiba T., Vargas C., Yang D.Y., and Jung S.: Reducing fuel cell cathode potential during startup and shutdown. U.S. Patent No. 20040081866. (2004).
4.Garzon F.H., Davey J.R., and Borup R.L.: Fuel cell catalyst particle size growth characterized by x-ray scattering methods. ECS Trans. 8(1), 153 (2005).
5.Borup R.L., Davey J.R., Wood D., Garzon F., Inbody M., and Guidry D.: PEM Fuel Cell Durability. 2005 DOE Hydrogen Program Review, (Department of Energy, Washington, DC, 2005).
6.Wilson M.S., Garzon F.H., Sickafus K.E., and Gottesfeld S.: Modeling and experimental diagnostics in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. J. Electrochem. Soc. 140(10), 2872 (1993).
7.More K.L.: Microstructural Characterization of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assemblies. DOE Annual Report (Department of Energy, Washington, DC, 2005).
8.Garzon F.H., Davey J.R., and Borup R.L.: Fuel cell catalyst particle size growth characterized by x-ray scattering methods. ECS Meeting Abstracts, Vol. MA 2005-02, 2223 (2005).
9.Raistrick D.: Modified gas diffusion electrode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, in Proceedings of the Symposium on Diaphragms, Separators, and Ion Exchange Membranes, the Electrochemical Society, edited by Van Zee J.W., White R.E., Kinoshita K., and Burney H.S. (The Electrochemical Society, Inc., Pennington, NJ, 1986); p. 172.
10.Raistrick D.: Electrode assembly for use in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell. U.S. Patent No. 4,876,115, (1989).
11.Ticianelli E.A., Derouin C.R., and Srinivasan S.: Localization of platinum in low catalyst loading electrodes to attain high-power densities in SPE fuel cells. J. Electroanal. Chem. 251, 275 (1988).
12.Ticianelli E.A., Derouin C.R., Redondo A., and Srinivasan S.: Methods to attain high-power densities in solid-polymer electrolyte fuel-cells using low platinum loading electrodes. J. Electrochem. Soc. 135, 2209 (1988).
13.Wilson M.S.: Membrane catalyst layer for fuel cells. U.S. Patent No. 5,234,777, (1993).
14.Wilson M.S. and Gottesfeld S.: High-performance catalyzed membranes of ultra-low pt loadings for polymer electrolyte fuel-cells. J. Electrochem. Soc. 139, L28L30 (1992).
15.Wilson M.S. and Gottesfeld S.: Thin-film catalyst layers for polymer electrolyte fuel-cell electrodes. J. Appl. Electrochem. 22, 1 (1992).
16.Stevens D.A., Hicks M.T., Haugen G.M., and Dahn J.R.: Ex situ and in situ stability studies of PEMFC catalysts. J. Electrochem. Soc. 152(12), A2309 (2005).
17.Coloma F., Sepulveda-Escribano A., and Rodriguez-Reinoso F.: Heat-treated carbon-blacks as supports for platinum catalysts. J. Catal. 154(2), 299 (1995).
18.Antolini E. and Gonzalez E.R.: Ceramic materials as supports for low-temperature fuel cell catalysts. Solid State Ionics 180, 746 (2009).
19.Shao Y., Liu J., Wang Y., and Lin Y.: Novel catalyst support materials or PEM fuel cells: Current status and future prospects. J. Mater. Chem. 19, 46 (2009).
20.Maiyalagan T., Viswanathan B., and Varadaraju U.V.: Nitrogen containing carbon nanotubes as supports for Pt—alternate anodes for fuel cell applications. Electrochem. Commun. 7(9), 905 (2005).
21.Kongkanand A., Kuwubata S., Girishkumar G., and Kamat P.: Single-wall carbon nanotubes supported platinum nanoparticles with improved electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction. Langmuir 22(5), 2392 (2006).
22.Wang X., Li W., Chen Z., Waje M., and Yan Y.: Durability investigation of carbon nanotube as catalyst support for proton exchange membrane fuel cell. J. Power Sources 158(1), 154 (2006).
23.Shim J., Lee C., Lee H., Lee J., and Cairns E.: Electrochemical characteristics of Pt–WO3/C and Pt–TiO2/C electrocatalysts in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell. J. Power Sources 102(1–2), 172 (2001).
24.Xiong L. and Manthiram A.: Synthesis and characterization of methanol tolerant Pt/TiOx/C nanocomposites for oxygen reduction in direct methanol fuel cells. Electrochim. Acta 49(24), 4163 (2004).
25.Wu G., Nelson M.A., Mack N.H., Ma S., Sekhar P., Garzon F.H., and Zelenay P.: Titanium dioxide-supported non-precious metal oxygen reduction electrocatalyst. Chem. Commun. 46(40), 7489 (2010).
26.Blackmore K.J., Elbaz L., Bauer E., Brosha E.L., More K., McCleskey T.M., and Burrell A.K.: High surface area Molybdenum nitride support for fuel cell electrodes. J. Electrochem. Soc. 158(10), B1255 (2011).
27.Markovic N.M., Schmidt T.J., Stamenkovic V., and Ross P.N.: Oxygen reduction reaction on Pt and Pt bimetallic surfaces: A selective review. Fuel Cells 1(2), 105 (2001).
28.Cai Y. and Adzic R.R.: Platinum monolayer electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction: Improvements induced by surface and subsurface modifications of cores. Adv. Phys. Chem. 2011, 530397, 116 (2011).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-materials-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 22 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 730 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.