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Graphene nanocomposites & functionalized graphene as catalyst supports for PEM fuel cells

Graphene is an increasingly important nanomaterial with distinct electronic conductivity, high contact surface area and enormous stability. Therefore, graphene has been used as a promising catalyst support in energy conversion and storage systems. In general, catalysts with supports are often prepared by solution-based approaches that require the supports have good dispersion in solvents such as water and or organic solvents without aggregation for high specific surface area and are able to uniformly adsorb and grow the catalysts on supports.

Specifically guided growth of catalyst on graphene support surface with delicate controllability is also highly preferred to achieve high catalytic activity although it is still very challenging. In order to meet those challenges, our aim is to develop graphene based nanocomposites and functionalization of graphene with effective functional groups as the most promising catalyst supports.

We synthesize graphene oxide/polypyrrole nanocomposites (GO/PPy) with the simultaneous reduction of graphene oxide as a superior catalyst support for significantly improved catalytic performance of metal nanoparticles. The SEM results of PPy nanocomposites with GO, CB, and their hybrids suggest that the carboneous type material significantly influence the PPy particle size, distribution and nanocomposite properties.

We also functionalize GO with various effective functional groups to support the catalyst growth efficiently. These types of functionalized GOs are expected to have better dispersibility in solvents and serve as effective catalyst support by enhancing catalyst growth or anchoring Pt nanoparticles

The work is supported by the Project Grant:
Graphene-Driven Revolutions in ICT and Beyond-EU Future Emerging Technology (FET) Graphene Flagship, 2013-…, supported by EU (FP7 and Horizon 2020) (PI: S. Alkan Gürsel)







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