Controlled deposition of metals is essential for the creation of bimetallic catalysts having predictable composition and character. Continuous co-electroless deposition (co-ED) permits the creation of bimetallic catalysts with predictive control over composition. This method was applied to create a suite of Cu-Pt mixed-metal shell catalysts for use in methanol electrooxidation in direct methanol fuel cell applications (DMFCs). Enhanced performance of Cu-Pt compositions over Pt alone was predicted by existing computational studies in the literature. Experimental evidence from this study supports the bifunctional catalyst explanation for enhanced activity and confirms the optimum Cu:Pt ratio as Cu3Pt for this methanol electrooxidation. This ability to control the composition of a bimetallic shell can be extended to other systems where the ratio of two metals is critical for catalytic performance.
Keywords: bifunctional catalyst; electroless deposition; fuel cells; heterogeneous catalysis; preparation.