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A brief introduction on Pt electrochemistry: the story behind nano-sizing

Date: 2018-11-16
Time: 10:00
Venue: A234
Speaker: Zhichuan J. Xu

1 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore
2 Solar Fuels Laboratory, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore
3 Energy Research Institute@NTU, ERI@N, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore
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The development of fuel cells and water electrolyzers has been reaching a technical bottom-neck for years. The high cost of Pt catalysts is one of most critical issues in these devices. Much effort has been given in recent years on exploring alternatives to Pt or reducing the usage of Pt in electrodes. Exciting progress has been made. For example, bimetallic Pt-X catalysts exhibited significantly improved activity towards oxygen reduction reaction. Non-precious metal catalysts, such as sulphides, doped carbons, transition metal oxides, and etc., have been also investigated intensively and some of them are found highly active for hydrogen evolution, oxygen reduction, and oxygen evolution reactions. In this tutorial talk, we put our attention on the conventional electrode material, Pt, which is also the state of the art electrode in those devices. Pt is the best single element in the elemental table for fuel cells and the cathodic reaction (HER) of water electrolyzers. The most fundamentals of fuel cell and electrolyzer electrochemistry are established through investigating Pt and its electrochemical behaviour. This tutorial will introduce the electrochemistry of Pt in terms of electrochemical surface area (ECSA), ORR, MOR, and HER. Some concepts related to the catalyst performance evaluation, such as specific activity (intrinsic activity), mass activity, and stability will be discussed. The origin of size effects on activity and durability of Pt catalysts will be also introduced. With these understandings, one should be able to extend the knowledge and protocols of Pt to other new catalysts under the development. This tutorial may be also helpful to new electrochemistry learners, who are interested in new electrocatalyst development.


[1] Hubert A. Gasteiger, Shyam S. Kocha, Bhaskar Sompalli, Frederick T. Wagner, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 56 (2005) 9–35

Brief bio:

Zhichuan is an associate professor in School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. He received his PhD degree in Electroanalytical Chemistry at 2008 and B.S. degree in Chemistry at 2002 from Lanzhou University, China. His PhD training was received in Lanzhou University (Prof. Hulin Li), Institute of Physics, CAS (Prof. Hongjun Gao), and Brown University (Prof. Shouheng Sun). Since 2007, he worked in State University of New York at Binghamton as a Research Associate (Prof. C.-J. Zhong) and from 2009 he worked in Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Researcher (Prof. Yang Shao-Horn & Prof. Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli). Dr. Xu is member of International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) and The Electrochemistry Society (ECS). He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). He served as a guest editor for the special issue ICEI2016 of Electrochimica Acta. He also services as an associate editor for Nano-Micro Letters (Springer), the Development Editor for Current Opinion in Electrochemistry (Elsevier), and the vice president of ECS Singapore Section.