Facile solvothermal synthesis of Pt-Cu nanocatalyst with improved electrocatalytic activity toward methanol oxidation

Muhammad Haris Mehmood, Muhammad Tariq, Ayaz Hassan, Abdul Raziq, Abdur Rahim, Jehangeer Khan


A binary metals nanocatalyst of platinum and copper was synthesized using a facile solvothermal process (polyol method). The synthesized catalyst was characterized using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The electrochemical performance of the synthesized carbon supported binary metal catalyst, Pt-Cu/С, toward methanol oxidation reaction was checked and then compared with the commercial Pt/C (ETEK) catalyst, using cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometric techniques. The Pt-Cu/C catalyst was found to be cubic in shape with indentations on the particle surface, having platinum to copper atomic composition of 4:1 i.e. (Pt4Cu). The peak current density for Pt-Cu/C catalyst recorded as 2.3 mA cm-2 at 0.7 V (vs Ag/AgCl) and 50 mV s-1, was two times higher than the current density of commercially available Pt/C catalyst (1.16 mA cm-2 at 0.76 V). Moreover, the Pt-Cu/C catalyst was found to be more durable than the commercial Pt/C catalyst, as the Pt-Cu/C retained 89 % of its initial current density while the commercial Pt/C catalyst retained 65 % of its initial current density after 300 potential cycles.


cyclic voltammetry; electrochemical activity; chronoamperometry; fuel cells; DMFC

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2298/JSC190131041M

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