Due to its special electronic and ballistic transport properties, graphene has attracted much interest from researchers. In this study, platinum (Pt) nanoparticles were deposited on oxidized graphene sheets (cG). The graphene sheets were applied to overcome the corrosion problems of carbon black at operating conditions of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. To enhance the interfacial interactions between the graphene sheets and the Pt nanoparticles, the oxygen-containing functional groups were introduced onto the surface of graphene sheets. The results showed the Pt nanoparticles were uniformly dispersed on the surface of graphene sheets with a mean Pt particle size of 2.08 nm. The Pt nanoparticles deposited on graphene sheets exhibited better crystallinity and higher oxygen resistance. The metal Pt was the predominant Pt chemical state on Pt/cG (60.4%). The results from the cyclic voltammetry analysis showed the value of the electrochemical surface area (ECSA) was 88 m²/g (Pt/cG), much higher than that of Pt/C (46 m²/g). The long-term test illustrated the degradation in ECSA exhibited the order of Pt/C (33%) > Pt/cG (7%). The values of the utilization efficiency were calculated to be 64% for Pt/cG and 32% for Pt/C.
Keywords: characterization; electrochemical activity; functionalization; graphene; platinum.