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Structural effects on ethanol oxidation on Pt nanoparticles with different shapes and surface structures

Grant number: 12/01040-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): November 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Hebe de las Mercedes Villullas
Grantee:Nathalia Abe Santos
Supervisor: Juan Miguel Feliu Martinez
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidad de Alicante (UA), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:10/13733-8 - New strategies in the study of ethanol electrooxidation: multimetallic nanocatalysts and analysis of reaction products, BP.MS


The current catalysts for ethanol oxidation in fuel cells are not efficient enough to make possible the use of these devices for large scale energy generation. At the same time, the tailoring of more efficient catalysts requires a deeper understanding of the influence that the materials properties have on catalytic activity and reaction mechanisms. This research project involves the preparation of Pt nanoparticles with different shapes and surface structures with the purpose of comparing the relative importance of these two properties on the catalytic activity towards ethanol oxidation. This proposal includes: i) the use of nanoparticles with different shapes having surfaces with (111) (octahedrons e tetrahedrons), ii) the controlled introduction of (100) e (110) surface defects; iii) the comparative evaluation of the catalytic activity towards the oxidation of ethanol by studies combining the current/potential responses obtained by cyclic voltammetry with the determination of gaseous and volatile products by differential electrochemical mass spectroscopy (DEMS). The proposed strategy aims to establish correlations between the catalytic responses towards ethanol oxidation of extended well-defined surfaces of single crystal electrodes and those of nanoparticles with different shapes and surface structures, aiming a deeper understanding of structural effects as a way to contribute to the development of efficient anode materials for Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells. (AU)

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