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Published 2013 | Published
Journal Article Open

Carbon nanotubes as electronic interconnects in solid acid fuel cell electrodes


Carbon nanotubes have been explored as interconnects in solid acid fuel cells to improve the link between nanoscale Pt catalyst particles and macroscale current collectors. The nanotubes were grown by chemical vapor deposition on carbon paper substrates, using nickel nanoparticles as the catalyst, and were characterized using scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The composite electrode material, consisting of CsH_2PO_4, platinum nanoparticles, and platinum on carbon-black nanoparticles, was deposited onto the nanotube-overgrown carbon paper by electrospraying, forming a highly porous, fractal structure. AC impedance spectroscopy in a symmetric cell configuration revealed a significant reduction of the electrode impedance as compared to similarly prepared electrodes without carbon nanotubes.

Additional Information

© 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry. Received 27th March 2013; Accepted 12th July 2013. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DMR-0520565. Funding was also provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through the Caltech Center for Sustainable Energy Research and by LiOx corporation. M.P. and M.S. were partially supported by ETH Zurich fellowships. The authors thank Prof. George Rossman for invaluable assistance with Raman spectroscopy measurements. We are also indebted to Prof. Harry Gray, without whose generosity this work would not have been possible.

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