Graphitic Carbon Nitride as a Promising Visible-Light-Activated Support Boosting Platinum Nanoparticle Activity in Ethanol Electrooxidation

ChemSusChem. 2024 Jul 9:e202401041. doi: 10.1002/cssc.202401041. Online ahead of print.


In the present work, exfoliated graphitic carbon nitride (g-CN) is immobilized on carbon paper substrates by a simple electrophoretic route, and subsequently decorated with ultra-low amounts (≈μg/cm2) of Pt nanoparticles (NPs) by cold plasma sputtering. Optimization of preparative conditions allowed a fine tuning of Pt NPs size, loading and distribution and thus a controlled tailoring of g-CN/Pt interfacial interactions. Modulation of such features yielded g-CN-Pt-based anode materials with appealing activity and stability towards the ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) in alkaline aqueous solutions, as revealed by electrochemical tests both in the dark and under irradiation. The present results provide new insights on the design of nano-engineered heterocomposites featuring improved performances thanks to Pt coupling with g-CN, a low-cost and environmentally friendly visible light-active semiconductor. Overall, this work might open attractive avenues for the generation of green hydrogen via aqueous ethanol electrolysis and the photo-promoted alcohol electrooxidation in fuel cells.

Keywords: Pt nanoparticles; cold plasma sputtering; electrophoretic deposition; ethanol oxidation reaction; graphitic carbon nitride.