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Nano Research

Article Title

Ultra-thin layer structured anodes for highly durable low-Pt direct formic acid fuel cells

Authors

Rongyue Wang, Center for Advanced Energy Materials & Technology Research (AEMT), and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
Jianguo Liu, Eco-Materials and Renewable Energy Research Center, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
Pan Liu, WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
Xuanxuan Bi, Center for Advanced Energy Materials & Technology Research (AEMT), and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
Xiuling Yan, Center for Advanced Energy Materials & Technology Research (AEMT), and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China Resources and Ecologic Research Institute, School of Chemistry and Bioscience, Yili Normal University, Yining 835000, China § These authors contributed equally to this work.
Wenxin Wang, Center for Advanced Energy Materials & Technology Research (AEMT), and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
Yifei Meng, Eco-Materials and Renewable Energy Research Center, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
Xingbo Ge, Center for Advanced Energy Materials & Technology Research (AEMT), and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
Mingwei Chen, WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
Yi Ding, Center for Advanced Energy Materials & Technology Research (AEMT), and School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China

Keywords

direct formic acid fuel cells, low-Pt loading, core/shell structures, nanoporous gold, dealloying

Abstract

Direct formic acid fuel cells (DFAFCs) allow highly efficient low temperature conversion of chemical energy into electricity and are expected to play a vital role in our future sustainable society. However, the massive precious metal usage in current membrane electrode assembly (MEA) technology greatly inhibits their actual applications. Here we demonstrate a new type of anode constructed by confining highly active nanoengineered catalysts into an ultra-thin catalyst layer with thickness around 100 nm. Specifically, an atomic layer of platinum is first deposited onto nanoporous gold (NPG) leaf to achieve high utilization of Pt and easy accessibility of both reactants and electrons to active sites. These NPG–Pt core/shell nanostructures are further decorated by a sub-monolayer of Bi to create highly active reaction sites for formic acid electro-oxidation. Thus obtained layer-structured NPG–Pt–Bi thin films allow a dramatic decrease in Pt usage down to 3 μg·cm–2, while maintaining very high electrode activity and power performance at sufficiently low overall precious metal loading. Moreover, these electrode materials show superior durability during half-year test in actual DFAFCs, with remarkable resistance to common impurities in formic acid, which together imply their great potential in applications in actual devices.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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