Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 573–580 | Cite as

Stable platinum nanostructures on nitrogen-doped carbon obtained by high-temperature synthesis for use in PEMFC

  • B. PeterEmail author
  • J. Melke
  • F. Muench
  • W. Ensinger
  • C. Roth
Research Article


We propose a novel, facile synthesis route to produce stable platinum-based polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell catalysts supported on nitrogen-doped carbon. Platinum nanoparticles were decorated on polyaniline (PANI), a nitrogen-containing polymer, before its subsequent carbonization at 750 °C under nitrogen atmosphere. Thus, nitrogen-doped carbon-supported platinum catalysts were produced with homogeneously distributed small metal particles, which are otherwise difficult to obtain. Most remarkably the platinum nanoparticles did not grow significantly during the carbonization step. In contrast, commercially available standard catalysts on carbon materials subjected to the same heat treatment showed severe particle growth. In accordance with the high thermal stability, the PANI-derived catalyst shows good long-term stability in accelerated stress test and a promising performance as cathode material in 5 × 5 cm2 single cells. The synthesis is carried out without the need for special laboratory equipment, so it will be easy to scale up for industrial catalyst production.


PEMFC Nitrogen-doped carbon Carbonization PANI Particle size Catalyst stability 



We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the German Science Foundation DFG (Contract No. RO 2454/10-1).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Peter
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Melke
    • 2
  • F. Muench
    • 1
  • W. Ensinger
    • 1
  • C. Roth
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Materials ScienceTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Inorganic ChemistryKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Physikalische und Theoretische ChemieFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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