Conformation-modulated three-dimensional electrocatalysts for high-performance fuel cell electrodes

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  21 Jul 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 30, eabe9083
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe9083


Unsupported Pt electrocatalysts demonstrate excellent electrochemical stability when used in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells; however, their extreme thinness and low porosity result in insufficient surface area and high mass transfer resistance. Here, we introduce three-dimensionally (3D) customized, multiscale Pt nanoarchitectures (PtNAs) composed of dense and narrow (for sufficient active sites) and sparse (for improved mass transfer) nanoscale building blocks. The 3D-multiscale PtNA fabricated by ultrahigh-resolution nanotransfer printing exhibited excellent performance (45% enhanced maximum power density) and high durability (only 5% loss of surface area for 5000 cycles) compared to commercial Pt/C. We also theoretically elucidate the relationship between the 3D structures and cell performance using computational fluid dynamics. We expect that the structure-controlled 3D electrocatalysts will introduce a new pathway to design and fabricate high-performance electrocatalysts for fuel cells, as well as various electrochemical devices that require the precision engineering of reaction surfaces and mass transfer.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances