We report a facile synthesis and characterization of highly-dispersed platinum nanoparticles supported on Ketjen carbon black (Pt/C) as electrocatalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel fells (PEMFCs). Pt particles with size of ∼ 2.6 nm were synthesized through adsorption of Pt acetylacetonate on carbon supports and subsequently thermal decomposition. A comparative characterization analysis, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), high resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM), cyclic voltammetry (CV), and hydrodynamic voltammetry measurements, was performed on the synthesized and commercial TKK catalysts. It revealed the details of Pt dispersion on the carbon support, particle size and distribution, electrochemical surface area (ECSA), and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of the catalysts. It was found that the synthesized Pt/C has similar particle size to that of the TKK catalyst (2.6 nm and 2.7 nm, respectively), but narrower particle size distribution. Accelerated durability tests under potential cycles were performed to study electrochemical degradation of the catalysts in corrosive environments. The synthesized Pt/C displayed significant losses in ECSA and activities after 20 k potential cycles, especially from 5 k to 20 k cycles, though with higher initial values (43% and 79% higher in ECSA and mass activity, respectively). © 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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