Jun Liu at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has published a new paper titled Stabilization of Electrocatalytic Metal Nanoparticles at Metal-Metal Oxide-Graphene Triple Junction Points. A paperweight for platinum, a press release from PNNL, summarizes the cathode catalyst work.
Liu and co-workers synthesized indium tin oxide (ITO) on graphene, then added platinum to create a reportedly more stable, more active oxygen reduction catalyst. Both density functional theory (DFT) modeling on a supercomputer and electrochemical testing showed marked stability and activity improvements over the classic platinum on carbon catalyst, or even platinum on graphene. Fuel cell testing has not yet been completed.
This is important and interesting work that builds on the early research by Chhina et al, An oxidation-resistant indium tin oxide catalyst support for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Apparently by supporting the ITO/Pt particles on the graphene substrate, Liu is able to produce these activity and stability improvements. The interesting thing is that in his ongoing DOE-funded research program Development of Alternative and Durable High Performance, Cathode Supports for PEM Fuel Cells, Liu did not initially choose to research ITO as a catalyst support. It was only as his research progressed that he started testing ITO, leading to this new ternary catalyst!
Now we have to wait fuel cell test results! Unfortunately, too many catalysts have shown promise in preliminary tests, only to show problems and limitations during subsequent comprehensive tests. Good luck!