Oxygen reduction reaction on platinum/tantalum oxide electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cells

Olga A. Baturina, Yannick Garsany, Thomas Zega, Rhonda M. Stroud, Terence Schull, Karen E. Swider-Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


We investigate platinum supported on tantalum oxide as a possible catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Three synthetic routes are evaluated to compare activities of tantalum-oxide-supported platinum fuel cell electrocatalysts: (i) deposition of platinum colloids on tantalum oxide followed by mechanical grinding with Vulcan carbon (VC); (ii) deposition of tantalum oxide on VC, followed by the deposition of platinum colloids; and (iii) deposition of Pt colloids on VC, followed by deposition of tantalum oxide. These are compared to a PtVC standard made with the same Pt colloids. The area-specific activities for the ORR at 0.9 V are a factor of 1.5 higher for catalysts synthesized via preparation route (ii) compared to a PtVC standard. The area-specific activities of the catalysts synthesized via routes (i) and (iii) are close to that of PtVC. The higher area-specific activity of the catalyst synthesized by route (ii) may be due to the preferential adsorption of OH groups to the oxide vs platinum surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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