Microfluidic Synthesis Enables Dense and Uniform Loading of Surfactant-Free PtSn Nanocrystals on Carbon Supports for Enhanced Ethanol Oxidation

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2016 Apr 11;55(16):4952-6. doi: 10.1002/anie.201600081. Epub 2016 Mar 15.


Developing new synthetic methods for carbon supported catalysts with improved performance is of fundamental importance in advancing proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology. Continuous-flow, microfluidic reactions in capillary tube reactors are described, which are capable of synthesizing surfactant-free, ultrafine PtSn alloyed nanoparticles (NPs) on various carbon supports (for example, commercial carbon black particles, carbon nanotubes, and graphene sheets). The PtSn NPs are highly crystalline with sizes smaller than 2 nm, and they are highly dispersed on the carbon supports with high loadings up to 33 wt%. These characteristics make the as-synthesized carbon-supported PtSn NPs more efficient than state of the art commercial Pt/C catalysts applied to the ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR). Significantly enhanced mass catalytic activity (two-times that of Pt/C) and improved stability are obtained.

Keywords: carbon supports; electrocatalysis; ethanol oxidation reactions; microfluidic synthesis; platinum tin alloyed nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't