Carbon-supported AuPd bimetallic nanoparticles synthesized by high-energy electron beam irradiation for direct formic acid fuel cell
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Nanoparticle catalysts of carbon-supported Pd (Pd/C) and carbon-supported AuPd (AuPd/C) for the direct formic acid fuel cell (DFAFC) anode were synthesized by the reduction of precursor ions in an aqueous solution irradiated with a high-energy electron beam. We obtained three kinds of nanoparticle catalysts: (1) Pd/C, (2) AuPd/C of the core–shell structure, and (3) AuPd/C of the alloy structure. The structures of AuPd nanoparticles were controlled by the addition of citric acid as a chelate agent, and sodium hydroxide as a pH controller. The structures of nanoparticle catalysts were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, the techniques of X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption fine structure. The catalytic activity of the formic acid oxidation was evaluated using linear sweep voltammetry. The oxidation current value of AuPd/C was higher than that of Pd/C. This indicated that the addition of Au to Pd/C improved the oxidation activity of the DFAFC anode. In addition, the AuPd/C of the alloy structure had higher oxidation activity than the AuPd/C of the core–shell structure. The control of the AuPd mixing state was effective in enhancing the formic acid oxidation activity.
The electron beam irradiation was performed at Japan Electron Beam Irradiation Service, Ltd. We thank the staff, especially K. Ueno, for their assistance with the electron beam irradiation experiments. We also thank Mr. T. Kawaguchi (graduate student) for his dedication to this study.