The template-assisted electrodeposition of platinum nanowires for catalytic applications
Template-assisted electrodeposition technique was applied to synthesize platinum nanowires (Pt NWs) on polycarbonate templates (PCT) with pore diameters of 15, 50, and 100 nm for catalytic applications. Influences of sulfuric acid added to the electrolyte, different potential scanning rates and different pore diameters of templates on the electrodeposition process of Pt NWs were investigated by electrochemical techniques, including voltammetry and chronoamperometry methods. It was confirmed that at lower scan rates and in acidic solutions, electrodeposition of platinum on templates with larger pores is controlled by diffusion. The potential range for deposition of Pt NWs was determined and the potentiostatic technique was utilized by applying various potentials of different durations to fabricate the NWs. The morphological characteristics of Pt NWs were examined using the scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was shown that the growth of Pt NWs on PCT 50 nm followed a pine-tree pattern, while the Pt NWs grew spherically on PCT 100 nm. The uniform and compact shape of Pt NWs was verified by the transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The catalytic activities of the prepared Pt NWs with the same exchanged charge density for hydrogen adsorption/desorption and methanol oxidation reactions were determined by the cyclic voltammetry (CV) testing, and the superior electrocatalytic performance was detected for Pt NWs prepared on PCT 50 nm. This enhanced catalytic activity was attributed to the higher surface-to-volume ratio, larger electrochemical active surface area and higher density of exposed active sites accessible on the pine-tree morphology of these Pt NWs compared to the spherical structure of Pt NWs fabricated on PCT 100 nm. This makes Pt NWs prepared on PCT 50 nm to be a promising catalyst for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs).
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