(415c) Template-Free Self-Assembly of 3D Graphene/Noble Metal Nanotube Composite Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Fuel Cells

Nagelli, E., United States Military Academy
Burpo, F. J., United States Military Academy
Milanesa, G., USMA West Point
Woronowicz, K., United States Military Academy
Mitropoulos, A., United States Military Academy
Template-Free Self-Assembly of 3D Graphene/Noble Metal Nanotube Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in PEM Fuel Cells

Enoch A. Nagelli*, Gabrielle M. Milanesa, Kamil Woronowicz, F. John Burpo, Alexander N. Mitropoulos

Department of Chemistry & Life Science

United States Military Academy, West Point, New York 10996

*Corresponding PI: Dr. Enoch Nagelli, Email: enoch.nagelli@usma.edu

Graphene is a promising nanoscale platform to construct next generation three-dimensional electrodes for high performance, light-weight, and configurable energy storage devices. However, the design, synthesis, and assembly of nanomaterials with well-defined structure and the connection from individual nanoscale entities to these real world applications continues to present big challenges. This is critical to build nanostructured electrodes to develop high performance batteries and fuel cells. In order to achieve this, we demonstrate a scalable method using a solution based electrostatic self-assembly technique for the formation of novel 3D noble metal micro- or nanotube composites with graphene. For example, we electrostatically bind graphene oxide with platinum salt coordination complexes and chemically reduce the resultant 3D structure using sodium borohydride. Our design process enables the controlled formation and assembly of micro- or nanotubes onto 2D graphene sheets in order to develop new high surface area composite electrodes with any pure noble metal or alloy noble metals. This novel method of aqueous assembly is a platform which can lead to research and development of nanocomposite materials and structures that will enable development of high performance electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction.


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