Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 48, Issue 14, pp 5047–5054 | Cite as

Preparation of carbon-supported PtCo nanoparticle catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in polymer electrolyte fuel cells by an electron-beam irradiation reduction method

  • Yuji Ohkubo
  • Yukihiro Hamaguchi
  • Satoshi Seino
  • Takashi Nakagawa
  • Satoru Kageyama
  • Junichiro Kugai
  • Hiroaki Nitani
  • Koji Ueno
  • Takao A. Yamamoto


We prepared carbon-supported PtCo bimetallic nanoparticles (PtCo/C) as electrode catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathodes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEFCs) by an electron-beam irradiation reduction method (EBIRM). An EBIRM allows nanoparticles to be easily prepared by the reduction of precursor ions in an aqueous solution irradiated with a high-energy electron beam. The structures of PtCo/C were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, and the techniques of X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption near edge structure. It found for the first time that both PtCo alloy and Co oxide were prepared simultaneously on the carbon support by an EBIRM. The catalytic activity and durability of PtCo/C were evaluated by linear-sweep voltammetry and cyclic voltammetry, respectively. The addition of Co to Pt/C not only enhanced the catalytic activity for the ORR but also improved the catalytic durability. As the Co concentration increased, both behaviors became pronounced. These improvements are explained by the effects of both PtCo alloy and Co oxide. We demonstrated that an EBIRM can not only synthesize the alloy and oxide simultaneously on the carbon support but also mass-produce the electrode catalysts for PEFC cathodes.



We thank the staff of EBIS for their assistance with the electron-beam irradiation experiments. We also thank from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (Grant-in-Aid No. 22241023) for partial financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuji Ohkubo
    • 1
  • Yukihiro Hamaguchi
    • 1
  • Satoshi Seino
    • 1
  • Takashi Nakagawa
    • 1
  • Satoru Kageyama
    • 1
  • Junichiro Kugai
    • 1
  • Hiroaki Nitani
    • 2
  • Koji Ueno
    • 3
  • Takao A. Yamamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of EngineeringOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Materials Structure ScienceHigh Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)TsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Japan Electron Beam Irradiation Service LtdIzumiohtsuJapan

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