Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Core-Shell Pt Catalysts

Presently, platinum (Pt) nanoparticles are required to catalyze the desired redox reactions at the anode and cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The high cost of this precious metal catalyst remains a barrier to the wide spread commercialization of PEMFCs, particularly for automotive applications. In an effort to reduce the Pt loading in PEMFCs, this research project is focused on the design of novel catalysts which consist of a 1-2 monolayer “shell” of Pt on a less expensive metal which acts as a “core”. By limiting the coverage of the Pt “shell” to several monolayers, these “core-shell” catalysts allow for significantly higher Pt utilization, and can thus be used to dramatically decrease the Pt content in PEMFCs. The main goal of this project in year 1 is to scale-up the synthesis of these core-shell catalysts, and in year 2 is to fully utilize their high mass activity in a MEA.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Elod Lajos Gyenge


Lijun Yang


Ballard Power Systems Inc.


Engineering - chemical / biological




University of British Columbia



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