Template Synthesis of Aligned Carbon Nanotube Arrays using Glucose as a Carbon Source: Pt Decoration of Inner and Outer Nanotube Surfaces for Fuel-Cell Catalysts

Authors

  • Zhenhai Wen,

    1. Department of Chemistry Key Lab of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry & Chemical Biology Tsinghua University Beijing 100084 (P.R. China)
    2. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100039 (P.R. China)
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  • Qiang Wang,

    1. Department of Chemistry Key Lab of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry & Chemical Biology Tsinghua University Beijing 100084 (P.R. China)
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  • Jinghong Li

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry Key Lab of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry & Chemical Biology Tsinghua University Beijing 100084 (P.R. China)
    • Department of Chemistry Key Lab of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry & Chemical Biology Tsinghua University Beijing 100084 (P.R. China)
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  • This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 20 435 010) and the 863 Project (2006AA05Z123). Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.

Abstract

A facile method is developed to synthesize aligned arrays of open-ended carbon nanotubes (CNTs) via in situ glucose polymerization in the inner pores of anodic aluminum oxide templates under hydrothermal conditions, followed by carbonization at high temperature. Pt nanoparticles are decorated on the surfaces of the as-prepared CNTs using the incipient wet method based on the use of NaBH4 as a reductant. Characterization of the resulting structures by transmission electron microscopy and field-emission scanning electron microscopy demonstrates that the Pt nanoparticles are anchored on both the inner and outer walls of CNTs, thus giving rise to a shell–core–shell-like nanotube composite. The electrocatalytic properties of the Pt–CNT–Pt electrodes are investigated for methanol oxidation by cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometric measurements. It is found that the hybrid electrodes show superior catalytic performance compared to commercial carbon-black-supported Pt. The increased catalytic efficiency of Pt might be a result of the unique morphology of these structures.

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