Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 52, Issue 13, pp 7754–7767 | Cite as

Electrocatalytic applications of platinum-decorated TiO2 nanotubes prepared by a fully wet-chemical synthesis

  • Markus Antoni
  • Falk Muench
  • Ulrike Kunz
  • Joachim Brötz
  • Wolfgang Donner
  • Wolfgang Ensinger
Energy materials


Pt-decorated \(\hbox {TiO}_{2}\) nanotubes Pt@TiO2 are prepared only by applying a set of facile wet-chemical redox reactions to ion track-etched polycarbonate templates. First, a homogeneous layer of Pt nanoparticles is deposited onto the complex template surface by reducing potassium tetrachloroplatinate with absorbed dimethylaminoborane. Second, the template is coated with a conformal \(\hbox {TiO}_{2}\) layer, using a chemical bath deposition reaction based on titanium(III) chloride. After the removal of the template, the rutile-type \(\hbox {TiO}_{2}\) nanotubes remain decorated with Pt nanoparticles and nanoparticle-clusters on their outside. During the process, neither vacuum techniques nor external current sources or addition of heat are employed. The crystallinity, composition, and morphology of the composite nanotubes are analysed by X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy as well as by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Finally, the obtained materials are examplarily applied in the electrooxidation of ethanol and formic acid, and their performances have been evaluated. Compared to conventional carbon black-supported Pt nanoparticles, the Pt@TiO2 nanotubes show higher reaction rates. Mass activities of 2.36 \(\hbox {A}\hbox { mg}_{\rm Pt}^{-1}\hbox { cm}^{-2}\) are reached in ethanol oxidation and 7.56 \(\hbox {A}\hbox { mg}_{\rm Pt}^{-1}\hbox { cm}^{-2}\) in the formic acid oxidation. The present structures are able to exploit the synergy of Pt and \(\hbox {TiO}_{2}\) with a bifunctional mechanism to result in powerful but easy-to-fabricate catalyst structures. They represent an easily producible type of composite nanostructures which can be applied in various fields such as in catalytics and sensor technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials and Earth SciencesTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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