Synthesis and Electrochemistry of Platinum-Deposited Monometallic Carbides

Duffee, Kyle
The Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is an attractive alternative energy source to fossil fuels as it is zero-emission in nature; the only by product is water. However, these fuel cells require catalysts such as platinum that are expensive and sensitive to poisoning in order to achieve any useful efficiency. In order to improve the economic viability of these fuel cells, cheaper and more robust catalysts must be discovered. This study characterized the catalytic properties the transition metal carbides carbides (TMC) of group IVA, VA, and VIA. Additionally, platinum nanoparticles were deposited on each TMC. Nano-scale platinum particles provide very high surface area to volume ratio in an effort to optimize the amount of platinum used. These Pt/TMCs show significantly increased activity when compared to commercially available Pt/C.
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