Ionic liquid-assisted synthesis of carbon nanotube/platinum nanocomposites

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Abstract

The carbon nanotubes (CNTs) without modification for any functional group are used for the formation of CNTs/Pt nanocomposites in the presence of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([BMIM]Cl) ionic liquid (IL) at a mild condition. The effects of platinum salt and [BMIM]Cl concentrations on the morphologies of final products are investigated. The as-prepared products are characterized by transmission electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and cyclic voltammetry. It shows that the as-prepared CNTs/Pt nanocomposites have a good dispersion of Pt particles with tunable size by controlling the concentration of [BMIM]Cl. The Pt particle size of the synthesized CNTs/Pt nanocomposites could be as small as 7 ± 2 nm. The possible formation mechanism of the as-prepared nanocomposites is proposed based on the π–π interaction between the IL and the CNT. The electrochemical response of the synthesized CNTs/Pt nanocomposites to K3(FeCN)6 is studied by cyclic voltammetry measurements, which demonstrates the response increases with the decrease of the Pt particle size. Moreover, the electroactivity for methanol oxidation using the synthesized CNTs/Pt nanocomposites with Pt particle size of 7 ± 2 nm shows that the as-prepared CNTs/Pt nanocomposites have an improved catalytic performance.