Design of Pd/PANI/Pd Sandwich-Structured Nanotube Array Catalysts with Special Shape Effects and Synergistic Effects for Ethanol Electrooxidation - Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS Publications)
Low cost, high activity, and long-term durability are the main requirements for commercializing fuel cell electrocatalysts. Despite tremendous efforts, developing non-Pt anode electrocatalysts with high activity and long-term durability at low cost remains a significant technical challenge. Here we report a new type of hybrid Pd/PANI/Pd sandwich-structured nanotube array (SNTA) to exploit shape effects and synergistic effects of Pd-PANI composites for the oxidation of small organic molecules for direct alcohol fuel cells. These synthesized Pd/PANI/Pd SNTAs exhibit significantly improved electrocatalytic activity and durability compared with Pd NTAs and commercial Pd/C catalysts. The unique SNTAs provide fast transport and short diffusion paths for electroactive species and high utilization rate of catalysts. Besides the merits of nanotube arrays, the improved electrocatalytic activity and durability are especially attributed to the special Pd/PANI/Pd sandwich-like nanostructures, which results in electron delocalization between Pd d orbitals and PANI π-conjugated ligands and in electron transfer from Pd to PANI.