Enhanced oxygen reduction activity with rare earth metal alloy catalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Journal article, 2021

Alloying platinum is an approach to increase the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and at the same time reduce the amount of precious platinum catalyst in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). In this work the cathode activity of thin films of rare earth metals (REM) alloys, Pt Y, Pt Gd and Pt Tb, produced by sputter deposition onto gas diffusion layers, are evaluated in a fuel cell by means of polarization curves in O /H , and cyclic- and CO-stripping voltammetry in N /5% H . Prior to evaluation, the model electrodes were acid-treated to obtain a Pt skin covering the PtREM alloy bulk, as was revealed by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The core shell alloys of Pt Y and Pt Gd catalysts show a specific activity enhancement at 0.9 V of 2.5 times compared to pure Pt. The slightly lower enhancement factor of 2.0 for Pt Tb is concluded to be due to leaching of the REM, that resulted in a thicker, and subsequently less strained, Pt overlayer. The high activity, combined with the minor changes in surface composition, achieved in the fuel cell environment shows that PtREM core shell catalysts are promising for the cathode reaction in PEMFC.

Platinum rare earth metal alloy

Proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Oxygen reduction reaction


Björn Eriksson

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Gerard Montserrat Siso

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Rosemary Brown

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Tomáš Skála

Charles University

Rakel Wreland Lindström

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Göran Lindbergh

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Björn Wickman

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

C. Lagergren

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Electrochimica Acta

0013-4686 (ISSN)

Vol. 387 138454

Subject Categories

Inorganic Chemistry

Other Chemical Engineering

Other Chemistry Topics



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