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  • 1.
    Annamalai, Alagappan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Boulanger, Nicolas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Boily, Jean-Francois
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Muehlbacher, Inge
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Double donor Sb5+doped hematite (Fe3+) photoanodes for surface-enhanced PEC water splitting2018In: Abstract of Papers of the American Chemical Society, ISSN 0065-7727, Vol. 256Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Annamalai, Alagappan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Boulanger, Nicolas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Boily, Jean-Francois
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Mühlbacher, Inge
    Shchukarev, Andrey
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Influence of Sb5+ as a Double Donor on Hematite (Fe3+) Photoanodes for Surface-Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation2018In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ISSN 1944-8244, E-ISSN 1944-8252, Vol. 10, no 19, p. 16467-16473Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To exploit the full potential of hematite (α-Fe2O3) as an efficient photoanode for water oxidation, the redox processes occurring at the Fe2O3/electrolyte interface need to be studied in greater detail. Ex situ doping is an excellent technique to introduce dopants onto the photoanode surface and to modify the photoanode/electrolyte interface. In this context, we selected antimony (Sb5+) as the ex situ dopant because it is an effective electron donor and reduces recombination effects and concurrently utilize the possibility to tuning the surface charge and wettability. In the presence of Sb5+ states in Sb-doped Fe2O3 photoanodes, as confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, we observed a 10-fold increase in carrier concentration (1.1 × 1020 vs 1.3 × 1019 cm–3) and decreased photoanode/electrolyte charge transfer resistance (∼990 vs ∼3700 Ω). Furthermore, a broad range of surface characterization techniques such as Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, ζ-potential, and contact angle measurements reveal that changes in the surface hydroxyl groups following the ex situ doping also have an effect on the water splitting capability. Theoretical calculations suggest that Sb5+ can activate multiple Fe3+ ions simultaneously, in addition to increasing the surface charge and enhancing the electron/hole transport properties. To a greater extent, the Sb5+- surface-doped determines the interfacial properties of electrochemical charge transfer, leading to an efficient water oxidation mechanism.

  • 3.
    Ekspong, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Rajukumar, Lakshmy Pulickal
    Terrones, Mauricio
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Stable Sulfur‐Intercalated 1T′ MoS2 on Graphitic Nanoribbons as Hydrogen Evolution Electrocatalyst2018In: Advanced Functional Materials, ISSN 1616-301X, E-ISSN 1616-3028, Vol. 28, no 46, article id 1802744Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The metastable 1T′ polymorph of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) has shown excellent catalytic activity toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in water‐splitting applications. Its basal plane exhibits high catalytic activity comparable to the edges in 2H MoS2 and noble metal platinum. However, the production and application of this polymorph are limited by its lower energetic stability compared to the semiconducting 2H MoS2 phase. Here, the production of stable intercalated 1T′ MoS2 nanosheets attached on graphitic nanoribbons is reported. The intercalated 1T′ MoS2 exhibits a stoichiometric S:Mo ratio of 2.3 (±0.1):1 with an expanded interlayer distance of 10 Å caused by a sulfur‐rich intercalation agent and is stable at room temperature for several months even after drying. The composition, structure, and catalytic activity toward HER are investigated both experimentally and theoretically. It is concluded that the 1T′ MoS2 phase is stabilized by the intercalated agents, which further improves the basal planes′ catalytic activity toward HER.

  • 4.
    Hu, Guangzhi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Laboratory of Environmental Science and Technology, The Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Sharifi, Tiva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Cheng, Shaodong
    Shen, Hangjia
    Wang, Chuanyi
    Guo, Shaojun
    Yang, Guang
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Atomistic understanding of the origin of high oxygen reduction electrocatalytic activity of cuboctahedral Pt3Co-Pt core-shell nanoparticles2016In: Catalysis Science & Technology, ISSN 2044-4753, E-ISSN 2044-4761, Vol. 6, no 5, p. 1393-1401Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    PtM-based core-shell nanoparticles are a new class of active and stable nanocatalysts for promoting oxygen reduction reaction (ORR); however, the understanding of their high electrocatalytic performance for ORR at the atomistic level is still a great challenge. Herein, we report the synthesis of highly ordered and homogeneous truncated cuboctahedral Pt3Co-Pt core-shell nanoparticles (cs-Pt3Co). By combining atomic resolution electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, extensive first-principles calculations, and many other characterization techniques, we conclude that the cs-Pt3Co nanoparticles are composed of a complete or nearly complete Pt monolayer skin, followed by a secondary shell containing 5-6 layers with similar to 78 at% of Pt, in a Pt3Co configuration, and finally a Co-rich core with 64 at% of Pt. Only this particular structure is consistent with the very high electrocatalytic activity of cs-Pt3Co nanoparticles for ORR, which is about 6 times higher than commercial 30%-Pt/Vulcan and 5 times more active than non-faceted (spherical) alloy Pt3Co nanoparticles. Our study gives an important insight into the atomistic design and understanding of advanced bimetallic nanoparticles for ORR catalysis and other important industrial catalytic applications.

  • 5.
    Kwong, Wai Ling
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Kemiskt Biologiskt Centrum (KBC) ; Department of Chemistry-Ångström Laboratory Molecular Biomimetics, Uppsala University.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Lee, Cheng Choo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Messinger, Johannes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Kemiskt Biologiskt Centrum (KBC) ; Department of Chemistry-Ångström Laboratory Molecular Biomimetics, Uppsala University.
    Cationic Vacancy Defects in Iron Phosphide: A Promising Route toward Efficient and Stable Hydrogen Evolution by Electrochemical Water Splitting2017In: ChemSusChem, ISSN 1864-5631, E-ISSN 1864-564X, Vol. 10, no 22, p. 4544-4551Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineering the electronic properties of transition metal phosphides has shown great effectiveness in improving their intrinsic catalytic activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in water splitting applications. Herein, we report for the first time, the creation of Fe vacancies as an approach to modulate the electronic structure of iron phosphide (FeP). The Fe vacancies were produced by chemical leaching of Mg that was introduced into FeP as "sacrificial dopant". The obtained Fe-vacancy-rich FeP nanoparticulate films, which were deposited on Ti foil, show excellent HER activity compared to pristine FeP and Mg-doped FeP, achieving a current density of 10 mAcm(-2) at overpotentials of 108 mV in 1 m KOH and 65 mV in 0.5 m H2SO4, with a near-100% Faradaic efficiency. Our theoretical and experimental analyses reveal that the improved HER activity originates from the presence of Fe vacancies, which lead to a synergistic modulation of the structural and electronic properties that result in a near-optimal hydrogen adsorption free energy and enhanced proton trapping. The success in catalytic improvement through the introduction of cationic vacancy defects has not only demonstrated the potential of Fe-vacancy-rich FeP as highly efficient, earth abundant HER catalyst, but also opens up an exciting pathway for activating other promising catalysts for electrochemical water splitting.

  • 6.
    Ngoc Pham, Tung
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Univ Danang, Univ Sci & Technol, Dept Chem, 54 Nguyen Luong Bang, Lien Chieu, Danang, Vietnam.
    Sharifi, Tiva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Siljebo, William
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Shchukarev, Andrey
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Kordas, Krisztian
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Mikkola, Jyri-Pekka
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Åbo Akad Univ, Dept Chem Engn, Proc Chem Ctr, Ind Chem & React Engn, FI-20500 Turku, Finland.
    Robust hierarchical 3D carbon foam electrode for efficient water electrolysis2017In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 6112Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Herein we report a 3D heterostructure comprising a hierarchical macroporous carbon foam that incorporates mesoporous carbon nanotubes decorated with cobalt oxide nanoparticles as an unique and highly efficient electrode material for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in electrocatalytic water splitting. The best performing electrode material showed high stability after 10 h, at constant potential of 1.7 V vs. RHE (reversible hydrogen electrode) in a 0.1 M KOH solution and high electrocatalytic activity in OER with low overpotential (0.38 V vs RHE at 10 mA cm(-2)). The excellent electrocatalytic performance of the electrode is rationalized by the overall 3D macroporous structure and with the firmly integrated CNTs directly grown on the foam, resulting in a large specific surface area, good electrical conductivity, as well as an efficient electrolyte transport into the whole electrode matrix concurrent with an ability to quickly dispose oxygen bubbles into the electrolyte. The eminent properties of the three-dimensional structured carbon matrix, which can be synthesized through a simple, scalable and cost effective pyrolysis process show that it has potential to be implemented in large-scale water electrolysis systems.

  • 7.
    Nitze, Florian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Barzegar, Hamid Reza
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Hu, Guangzhi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Mazurkiewicz, Marta
    Malolepszy, Artur
    Stobinski, Leszek
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Direct support mixture painting, using Pd(0) organo-metallic compounds - an easy and environmentally sound approach to combine decoration and electrode preparation for fuel cells2014In: Journal of Materials Chemistry A, ISSN 2050-7488, Vol. 2, no 48, p. 20973-20979Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An inventive, fast and straight-forward approach for the direct preparation of fuel cell electrodes has been developed and tested. Our approach avoids long catalyst preparation and post-synthesis treatment. It reduces the use of chemicals and thereby concomitantly lowers the environmental impact and improves cost efficiency. It combines decoration of the support by palladium nanoparticles with electrode preparation through a simple one-step ink-painting and annealing process. Composites have been investigated by high resolution transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and Xray diffraction. Crystalline particles are well-attached and well-distributed on the support. Particles are of few nanometers in size and spherical for decorated Vulcan whereas they are larger and irregularly shaped for decorated helical carbon nanofibers (HCNFs). Electrodes with a metal loading of 0.8 mg cm(-2) have been tested in a direct formic acid fuel cell. Both the Vulcan and the HCNF electrodes show a similar and high power output of up to 120 mW mg(-1). They also show similar performances in deactivation experiments conducted at 200 mA cm(-2) even when using only high purity grade formic acid. After deactivation the electrodes show no structural damage, making them superior to most commercial catalysts. The electrodes can be completely regenerated to initial activity by simple treatment with water. The easy regeneration process indicates that CO-adsorption on the fuel cell anode catalyst is not the main poisoning mechanism responsible for electrode degeneration.

  • 8.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Innovations in nanomaterials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Hydrogen technologies are rapidly receiving increased attention as it offers a renewable energy alternative to the current petroleum-based fuel infrastructure, considering that continued large-scale use of such fossil fuels will lead to disastrous impacts on our environment. The proton exchange membrane fuel cell should play a significant role in a hydrogen economy since it enables convenient and direct conversion of hydrogen into electricity, thus allowing the use of hydrogen in applications particularly suited for the transportation industry. To fully realize this, multiple engineering challenges as well as development of advanced nanomaterials must however be addressed.

    In this thesis, we present discoveries of new innovative nanomaterials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells by targeting the entire membrane electrode assembly. Conceptually, we first propose new fabrication techniques of gas diffusion electrodes based on helical carbon nanofibers, where an enhanced three-phase boundary was noted in particular for hierarchical structures. The cathode catalyst, responsible for facilitating the sluggish oxygen reduction reaction, was further improved by the synthesis of platinum-based nanoparticles with an incorporated secondary metal (iron, yttrium and cobalt). Here, both solvothermal and high-temperature microwave syntheses were employed. Catalytic activities were improved compared to pure platinum and could be attributed to favorably shifted oxygen adsorption energies as a result of successful incorporation of the non-precious metal. As best exemplified by platinum-iron nanoparticles, the oxygen reduction reaction was highly sensitive to both metal composition and the type of crystal structure. Finally, a proton exchange membrane based on fluorine and sulfonic acid functionalized graphene oxide was prepared and tested in hydrogen fuel cell conditions, showing improvements such as lowered hydrogen permeation and better structural stability. Consequently, we have demonstrated that there is room for improvement of multiple components, suggesting that more powerful fuel cells can likely be anticipated in the future.

  • 9.
    Sandström, Robin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Annamalai, Alagappan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Boulanger, Nicolas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Ekspong, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Talyzin, Alexandr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Mühlbacher, Inge
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Evaluation of Fluorine and Sulfonic Acid Co-functionalized Graphene Oxide Membranes in Hydrogen Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Conditions2019In: Sustainable Energy & Fuels, ISSN 2398-4902, Vol. 3, no 7, p. 1790-1798Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of graphene oxide (GO) based membranes consisting of self-assembled flakes with a lamellar structure represents an intriguing strategy to spatially separate reactants while facilitating proton transport in proton exchange membranes (PEM). Here we chemically modify GO to evaluate the role of fluorine and sulfonic acid groups on the performance of H2/O2 based PEM fuel cells. Mild fluorination is achieved by the presence of hydrogen fluoride during oxidation and subsequent sulfonation resulted in fluorine and SO3- co-functionalized GO. Membrane electrode assembly performance in low temperature and moderate humidity conditions suggested that both functional groups contribute to reduced H2 crossover compared to appropriate reference membranes. Moreover, fluorine groups promoted an enhanced hydrolytic stability while contributing to prevent structural degradation after constant potential experiments whereas sulfonic acid demonstrated a stabilizing effect by preserving proton conductivity.

  • 10.
    Sandström, Robin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Ekspong, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Annamalai, Alagappan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Sharifi, Tiva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA.
    Klechikov, Alexey
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Fabrication of microporous layer - free hierarchical gas diffusion electrode as a low Pt-loading PEMFC cathode by direct growth of helical carbon nanofibers2018In: RSC Advances, ISSN 2046-2069, E-ISSN 2046-2069, Vol. 8, no 72, p. 41566-41574Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Improving interfacial contact between each component in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) can lead to a significant increase in power density and Pt utilization. In this work, the junction between the catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer (GDL) is greatly enhanced through direct attachment of helical carbon nanofibers, giving rise to a hierarchical structure within the electrical interconnections. The alternative novel GDL is produced by spraying a thin layer of Pd2C60 precursor on commercial carbon paper, followed by chemical vapor deposition growth resulting in a surface morphology of well-attached nanofibers surrounding the microfibers present in the commercial carbon paper. Subsequent solvothermal deposition of platinum nanoparticles allowed evaluation of its suitability as gas diffusion electrode in cathodic H-2/O-2 PEMFC environment. A combination of lowered charge transfer resistance and enhanced Pt-utilization is attributed to its unique wire-like appearance and its robust properties. The fabricated microporous layer - free GDL is suitable for relatively aggressive membrane electrode assembly fabrication procedures and is produced by industrially favorable techniques, rendering it capable of efficiently supporting small amounts of precious metal catalyst nanoparticles in various PEM applications.

  • 11.
    Sandström, Robin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Ekspong, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Oxidatively Induced Exposure of Active Surface Area during Microwave Assisted Formation of Pt3Co Nanoparticles for Oxygen Reduction Reaction2019In: RSC Advances, ISSN 2046-2069, E-ISSN 2046-2069, Vol. 9, no 31, p. 17979-17987Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), the rate-limiting reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, can efficiently be facilitated by properly manufactured platinum catalysts alloyed with late 3d transition metals. Herein we synthesize a platinum:cobalt nanoparticulate catalyst with a 3:1 atomic ratio by reduction of a dry organometallic precursor blend within a commercial household microwave oven. The formed nanoparticles are simultaneously anchored to a carbon black support that enables large Pt surface area. Two separate microwave treatment steps were employed, where step one constitutes a fast oxidative treatment for revealing active surface area while a reductive secondary annealing treatment promotes a Pt rich surface. The resulting Pt3Co/C catalyst (~3.4 nm) demonstrate an enhanced ORR activity directly attributed to incorporated Co with a specific and mass activity of 704 μA cm-2Pt and 352 A g-1Pt corresponding to an increase by 279 % and 66 % respectively compared to a commercial Pt/C (~1.8 nm) catalyst measured under identical conditions. The method´s simplicity, scalability and novelty is expected to further assist in Pt-Co development and bring the catalyst one step closer toward commercialization and utility in fuel cells.

  • 12.
    Sandström, Robin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Annamalai, Alagappan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Persson, Per
    Linköping University.
    Persson, Ingemar
    Linköping University.
    Ekspong, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Barzegar, Hamid Reza
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Microwave-Induced Structural Ordering of Resilient Nanostructured L10-FePt Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction ReactionManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    We show how structurally ordered L10 face-centered tetragonal (fct) FePt nanoparticles are produced by a solid-state microwave-assisted synthesis method. The structural phase as well as the incorporated Fe into the nanoparticles is confirmed by X-ray diffraction and high resolution high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy experiments. The prepared particles exhibit a remarkable resilience toward crystallite growth at high temperatures. Directly correlated to the L10 phase, the best oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) characteristics are achieved for particles with a 1:1 Fe:Pt atomic ratio and an average size of ~2.9 nm where Pt-specific evaluation provided a high mass and specific activity of ~570 A/gPt and ~600 μA/cm2Pt respectively. Our results demonstrate that well-structured catalysts possessing activities vastly exceeding Pt/C (~210 A/gPt & ~250 μA/cm2Pt), can be synthesized through a fast and highly eco-friendly method. We note that the achieved mass activity represent a significant leap toward the theoretical maximum for fully ordered FePt nanoparticles.

  • 13.
    Sandström, Robin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Hu, Guangzhi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Key Laboratory of Chemistry of Plant Resources in Arid Regions, State Key Laboratory Basis of Xinjiang Indigenous Medicinal Plants Resource Utilization, Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, China.
    Shchukarev, Andrey
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Ma, Jingyuan
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Yttria stabilized and surface activated platinum (PtxYOy) nanoparticles through rapid microwave assisted synthesis for oxygen reduction reaction2018In: Nano Energy, ISSN 2211-2855, E-ISSN 2211-3282, Vol. 46, p. 141-149Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The enhancement of platinum (Pt) based catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) by addition of rare earth metals represents a promising strategy to achieve high activity yet low content of the precious metal and concurrently addresses stability issues experienced by traditional late transition metal doping. Improvement in Pt utilization is essential for vehicular applications where material cost and abundancy is a great concern. Here we report a fast and efficient production route of yttria-stabilized platinum nanoparticles (PtxYOy) using a conventional household microwave oven. ORR performance showed a significant improvement and an optimum activity at a 3:1 Pt:Y ratio outperforming that of commercial Pt-Vulcan with a doubled specific activity. Incorporation of Y is evidenced by extended X-ray absorption fine structure and energy dispersive X-ray analysis, while significant amounts of integrated Y2O3 species are detected by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Density functional theory calculations suggest surface migration and oxidation of Y, forming stable superficial yttrium oxide species with low negative enthalpies of formation. The robustness of PtxYOy is shown experimentally and through theoretical arguments demonstrating that surface yttria acts as a stabilizing agent and promoter of highly active ORR sites on the remaining Pt surface, surpassing even the Pt3Y alloy configuration.

  • 14.
    Sandström, Robin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Hu, Guangzhi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Key Laboratory of Chemistry of Plant Resources in Arid Regions, State Key Laboratory Basis of Xinjiang Indigenous Medicinal Plants Resource Utilization, Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, China.
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Compositional Evaluation of Coreduced Fe-Pt Metal Acetylacetonates as PEM Fuel Cell Cathode Catalyst2018In: ACS Applied Energy Materials, ISSN 2574-0962, Vol. 1, no 12, p. 7106-7115Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Platinum iron nanoparticles were produced by solvothermal coreduction of organic Fe and Pt precursor compounds and supported on conventional Vulcan XC 72. Evaluation of oxygen reduction performance reveals a highly active surface with up to 5 times the specific activity of commercial Pt Vulcan measured in O-2-saturated 0.1 M HClO4. A particle size of 5.5 nm for the best performing sample, produced from an initial metal ratio of 1:1, provided 28% higher mass activity than the commercial reference. Membrane electrode assemblies, optimized for both H-2/O-2 and direct formic acid fuel cells, were produced, and the PEM fuel cell cathodic performance displayed results with similar enhancements as its ex situ measured mass activity, although a delamination of the catalyst layer from the membrane could be observed even when employing a hot-pressing procedure during MEA fabrication. Physical characterizations including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and in situ X-ray diffraction reveal oxidized states of Fe incorporated into the disordered face-centered cubic Pt nanoparticles, supported by composition-dependent morphological changes as observed by transmission electron microscopy. The provided insight into fuel cell performance as well as CO-oxidation attributes are expected to assist in selecting suitable applications and operating conditions for such FePt type nanoparticles.

  • 15.
    Sharifi, Tiva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Jia, Xueen
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Comprehensive study of an earth-abundant bifunctional 3D electrode for efficient water electrolysis in alkaline medium2015In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ISSN 1944-8244, E-ISSN 1944-8252, Vol. 7, no 51, p. 28148-28155Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We report efficient electrolysis of both water splitting half reactions in the same medium by a bifunctional 3D electrode comprising Co3O4 nanospheres nucleated on the surface of nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes (NCNTs) that in turn are grown on conductive carbon paper (CP). The resulting electrode exhibits high stability and large electrochemical activity for both oxygen and hydrogen evolution reactions (OER and HER). We obtain a current density of 10 mA/cm(2) in 0.1 M KOH solution at overpotentials of only 0.47 and 0.38 V for OER and HER, respectively. Additionally, the experimental observations are understood and supported by analyzing the Co3O4:NCNT and NCNT:CP interfaces by ab initio calculations. Both the experimental and the theoretical studies indicate that firm and well-established interfaces along the electrode play a crucial role on the stability and electrochemical activity for both OER and HER.

  • 16.
    Sharifi, Tiva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Valvo, Mario
    Gracia-Espino, Eduardo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Sandström, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Edström, Kristina
    Wågberg, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
    Hierarchical self-assembled structures based on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as advanced negative electrodes for Li-ion batteries and 3D microbatteries2015In: Journal of Power Sources, ISSN 0378-7753, E-ISSN 1873-2755, Vol. 279, p. 581-592Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hierarchical structures based on carbon paper and multi-walled nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes were fabricated and subsequently decorated with hematite nanorods to obtain advanced 3D architectures for Li-ion battery negative electrodes. The carbon paper provides a versatile metal-free 3D current collector ensuring a good electrical contact of the active materials to its carbon fiber network. Firstly, the nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes onto the carbon paper were studied and a high footprint area capacity of 2.1 mAh cm−2 at 0.1 mA cm−2 was obtained. The Li can be stored in the inter-wall regions of the nanotubes, mediated by the defects formed on their walls by the nitrogen atoms. Secondly, the incorporation of hematite nanorods raised the footprint area capacity to 2.25 mAh cm−2 at 0.1 mA cm−2. However, the repeated conversion/de-conversion of Fe2O3 limited both coulombic and energy efficiencies for these electrodes, which did not perform as well as those including only the N-doped carbon nanotubes at higher current densities. Thirdly, long-cycling tests showed the robust Li insertion mechanism in these N-doped carbonaceous structures, which yielded an unmatched footprint area capacity enhancement up to 1.95 mAh cm−2 after 60 cycles at 0.3 mA cm−2 and an overall capacity of 204 mAh g−1 referred to the mass of the entire electrode.

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