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Mn-Pt Nanocubes as Promising Fuel Cell Electrode Catalysts

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have synthesized manganese-platinum (Mn-Pt) nanocubes that how better electrocatalytic properties than their spherical counterparts. The materials are promising new candidates as cathode and anode catalysts in fuel cells, the team writes in a communication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

TEM images of (A) as-synthesized Mn-Pt nanocubes, (B) a large area of self-assembly, and (C, D) self-assembled Mn-Pt nanocubes. Credit: ACS, Kang and Murray. Click to enlarge.

Although manganese oxides are widely used as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts in alkaline environments, the acidic environment in PEM fuel cells limits the application of these materials. Alloys with Mn and platinum can provide a less expensive, more active catalyst in the PEM environment, the authors note.

The Mn-Pt nanocubes show higher ORR activity than the commercial catalyst. The Mn-Pt nanocubes are also active for small-organic-molecule oxidation and are particularly promising for methanol oxidation. Mn-Pt nanocubes are a potential candidate for both cathode and anode catalysts in fuel cells. In addition, the Mn-Pt NCs show shape-dependent catalytic properties.

—Kang and Murray


  • Yijin Kang and Christopher B. Murray (2010) Synthesis and Electrocatalytic Properties of Cubic Mn-Pt Nanocrystals (Nanocubes). J. Am. Chem. Soc., Article ASAP doi: 10.1021/ja100705j


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