Sputter deposition of multi-element nanoparticles as eleetroeatalysts for methanol oxidation

Chih Fang Tsai*, Pu-Wei Wu, Pang Lin, Cheun Guang Chao, Kung Yu Yeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Fabrication of multi-element nanoparticles on noncatalyzed gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) by radio frequency sputter deposition was reported. X-ray diffraction analysis of the as-deposited films indicated crystalline fcc phases while energy dispersive X-ray spectroscope confirmed their composition as Pt50Fe11Co10Ni11Cu 10Ag8. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed nanoparticulate nodules growing on the carbon particles. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) was employed to analyze their methanol oxidation abilities for direct methanol fuel cells. The CV responses improved upon cycling and became stabilized after 70 cycles. The areas under the CV curves were proportional to the amount of nanoparticles deposited. In mass activities the GDE with 5 nm nanoparticles demonstrated the highest values of 400-600mA/mg. In comparing with Ft and Pt43Ru57, the Pt43Ru57 exhibited the lowest onset potential with the highest mass activities. Our work presents preliminary information on the catalytic behaviors of multi-element nanoparticles which is likely to bring new directions in catalyst design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5755-5761
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics
Issue number7 PART 1
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2008


  • Direct methanol fuel cell
  • Electrocatalyst
  • Multi-element alloy
  • Nanoparticle
  • Sputter deposition

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