Comparative study of PtNi nanowire array electrodes toward oxygen reduction reaction by half-cell measurement and PEMFC test

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A clear understanding of catalytic activity enhancement mechanisms in fuel cell operation is necessary for a full degree translation of the latest generation of non-Pt/C fuel cell electrocatalysts into high-performance electrodes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In this work, PtNi nanowire (NW) array gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) are fabricated from Pt NW arrays with Ni impregnation. A 2.84-fold improvement in the oxygen reduction reaction catalytic activity is observed for the PtNi NW array GDE (cf. the Pt NW array GDE) using half-cell GDE measurement in a 0.1 M HClO4 aqueous electrolyte at 25 °C, in comparison to only a 1.07-fold power density recorded in the PEMFC single-cell test. An ionomer is shown to significantly increase the electrochemically active surface area of the GDEs, but the PtNi NW array GDE suffers from Ni ion contamination at a high temperature, contributing to decreased catalytic activities and limited improvement in operating PEMFCs.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42832–42841
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number38
Early online date31 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2020


  • proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), Electrode, Gas diffusion electrode (GDE), PtNi, Nanowire, Ionomer, Half-cell measurement, Interface