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Title: Nickel supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst in alkaline electrolyte

The development of a low-cost, high-performance platinum-group-metal-free hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cell is hindered by the lack of a hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst at the anode. Here we report that a composite catalyst, nickel nanoparticles supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes, has hydrogen oxidation activity similar to platinum-group metals in alkaline electrolyte. Although nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes are a very poor hydrogen oxidation catalyst, as a support, it increases the catalytic performance of nickel nanoparticles by a factor of 33 (mass activity) or 21 (exchange current density) relative to unsupported nickel nanoparticles. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the nitrogen-doped support stabilizes the nanoparticle against reconstruction, while nitrogen located at the edge of the nanoparticle tunes local adsorption sites by affecting the d-orbitals of nickel. Here, owing to its high activity and low cost, our catalyst shows significant potential for use in low-cost, high-performance fuel cells.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Beijing Univ. of Chemical Technology, Beijing (China); Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)
  2. Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 25 ENERGY STORAGE chemical sciences; catalysis; materials science; nanotechnology