Standard Article

Influence of size on the electrocatalytic activities of supported metal nanoparticles in fuel cells related reactions

Advances in Electrocatalysis, Materials, Diagnostics and Durability

Electrocatalyst materials for low temperature fuel cells

Novel catalysts

  1. F. Maillard1,
  2. S. Pronkin2,
  3. E. R. Savinova2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f500002a

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Maillard, F., Pronkin, S. and Savinova, E. R. 2010. Influence of size on the electrocatalytic activities of supported metal nanoparticles in fuel cells related reactions. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Laboratoire d'Electrochimie et de Physicochimie des Matériaux et des Interfaces (LEPMI), Saint Martin d'Hères, France

  2. 2

    Laboratoire des Matèriaux, Surfaces et Procédes pour la Catalyse (LMSPC), Strasbourg, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Recent publications related to the investigation of the size dependence of the catalytic activities of supported metal nanoparticles in fuel cell-related processes, namely hydrogen oxidation, oxygen-reduction, CO, formic acid, formaldehyde, and methanol oxidation reaction, are reviewed. The experimental data as well as theoretical modeling are presented for the influence of the particle size on the structural, electronic, adsorption, and catalytic properties. Analyses of the available literature proves unambiguously that a decrease in the particle size below ca 5 nm strongly affects specific electrocatalytic activities in fuel cell-related processes, and this is of importance for the design of efficient catalysts for PEMFCs and DMFCs. Various approaches to explain the origin of the particle-size effects in electrocatalysis are analyzed, with the conclusion that the observed variations in the electrocatalytic activities are induced by the intrinsic particle-size effects, and are related to the changes in their structural and/or electronic properties, rather than by diffusion-related phenomena.


  • supported metal nanoparticles;
  • particles size effect;
  • interparticle distance;
  • electrocatalysis;
  • adsorption;
  • CO oxidation;
  • hydrogen oxidation;
  • oxygen-reduction reaction;
  • methanol oxidation