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Keywords:

  • electrochemistry;
  • nanoparticles;
  • reduction;
  • ruthenium;
  • supported catalysts

Abstract

The stability and oxygen reduction activity of two carbon-supported catalyst materials are reported. The catalysts, Se/Ru and Se/(Ru–Mo), were prepared by using a chemical reduction method. The catalyst nanoparticles were evenly dispersed onto globular amorphous carbon supports, and their average size was ca. 2.4 nm. Thermal treatment at 500 °C for 2 h in an inert argon atmosphere resulted in coarsening of the nanoparticles, and also in some decrease of their activity. A gradual reduction of activity was also observed for Se/Ru during potential-cycle experiments. However, the incorporation of small amounts of Mo into the Se/Ru catalysts considerably improved the stability of the catalyst against dissolution. The Mo-containing samples showed excellent oxygen reduction activities even after cycling the potential 1000 times between 0.7 and 0.9 V. Furthermore, they showed excellent fuel-cell behavior. The performance of the Se/Ru catalysts is greatly improved by the addition of small amounts of elemental Mo. Possible mechanisms responsible for the improvement of the activity are discussed.