Plasma nitriding induced growth of Pt-nanowire arrays as high performance electrocatalysts for fuel cells

Shangfeng Du, Kaijie Lin, Sairam K Malladi, Yaxiang Lu, Shuhui Sun, Qiang Xu, Robert Steinberger-Wilckens, Hanshan Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
175 Downloads (Pure)


In this work, we demonstrate an innovative approach, combing a novel active screen plasma (ASP) technique with green chemical synthesis, for a direct fabrication of uniform Pt nanowire arrays on large-area supports. The ASP treatment enables in-situ N-doping and surface modification to the support surface, significantly promoting the uniform growth of tiny Pt nuclei which directs the growth of ultrathin single-crystal Pt nanowire (2.5–3 nm in diameter) arrays, forming a three-dimensional (3D) nano-architecture. Pt nanowire arrays in-situ grown on the large-area gas diffusion layer (GDL) (5 cm2) can be directly used as the catalyst electrode in fuel cells. The unique design brings in an extremely thin electrocatalyst layer, facilitating the charge transfer and mass transfer properties, leading to over two times higher power density than the conventional Pt nanoparticle catalyst electrode in real fuel cell environment. Due to the similar challenges faced with other nanostructures and the high availability of ASP for other material surfaces, this work will provide valuable insights and guidance towards the development of other new nano-architectures for various practical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6439
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date22 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2014


  • Pt
  • Nanowire
  • Nanowires
  • Array
  • Active screen plasma nitriding
  • plasma
  • nitriding
  • activation/functionalization chemistry
  • Surface modification
  • Fuel cell
  • Electrocatalyst
  • PEM fuel cell
  • Electrode
  • Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)
  • DMFC
  • Low temperature fuel cell
  • Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR)
  • three dimensional
  • integrated
  • in-situ growth
  • One dimensional
  • 3D
  • 1D
  • Gas diffusion electrode (GDE)
  • GDE
  • thin film catalyst electrode
  • thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Electrochemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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