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Development and Simulation of Sulfur-doped Graphene Supported Platinum with Exemplary Stability and Activity Towards Oxygen Reduction

Authors

  • Drew Higgins,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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  • Md Ariful Hoque,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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  • Min Ho Seo,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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  • Rongyue Wang,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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  • Fathy Hassan,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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  • Ja-Yeon Choi,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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  • Mark Pritzker,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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  • Aiping Yu,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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  • Jiujun Zhang,

    1. NRC Energy, Mining & Environment, National Research Council Canada, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • Zhongwei Chen

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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Abstract

Sulfur-doped graphene (SG) is prepared by a thermal shock/quench anneal process and investigated as a unique Pt nanoparticle support (Pt/SG) for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Particularly, SG is found to induce highly favorable catalyst-support interactions, resulting in excellent half-cell based ORR activity of 139 mA mgPt −1 at 0.9 V vs RHE, significant improvements over commercial Pt/C (121 mA mgPt −1) and Pt-graphene (Pt/G, 101 mA mgPt −1). Pt/SG also demonstrates unprecedented stability, maintaining 87% of its electrochemically active surface area following accelerated degradation testing. Furthermore, a majority of ORR activity is maintained, providing 108 mA mgPt −1, a remarkable 171% improvement over Pt/C (39.8 mA mgPt −1) and an 89% improvement over Pt/G (57.0 mA mgPt −1). Computational simulations highlight that the interactions between Pt and graphene are enhanced significantly by sulfur doping, leading to a tethering effect that can explain the outstanding electrochemical stability. Furthermore, sulfur dopants result in a downshift of the platinum d-band center, explaining the excellent ORR activity and rendering SG as a new and highly promising class of catalyst supports for electrochemical energy technologies such as fuel cells.

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