Thermal reduction of PdCo molecular precursors may lead to the controlled production of nanoparticles on high surface area carbon supports that can be used as methanol tolerant oxygen reduction catalysts for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Following this concept, a single molecular precursor source was used for the synthesis of bimetallic nanoparticles on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) and Vulcan (VC) carbon supports. Nanostructural formation of palladium-cobalt on highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) was study by AFM, SEM and voltammetry. The relative humidity during precursor deposition was used to control the rings self-formation on HOPG surfaces. Palladium and palladium-cobalt nanoparticles were also formed on high surface area carbon support (Vulcan XC-72R) by thermal reduction and characterized by TEM. The Pd/VC and PdCo/VC nanoparticles were tested for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with and without methanol. The Pd-based catalysts have ORR activity and high methanol tolerance.
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