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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 424561, 7 pages
Research Article

Formic Acid Electrooxidation by a Platinum Nanotubule Array Electrode

1Institute for Micromanufacturing, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272, USA
2Chemical and Materials Engineering Department, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH 45469, USA

Received 18 February 2013; Accepted 20 March 2013

Academic Editor: Benjamín R. Scharifker

Copyright © 2013 Eric Broaddus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


One-dimensional metallic nanostructures such as nanowires, rods, and tubes have drawn much attention for electrocatalytic applications due to potential advantages that include fewer diffusion impeding interfaces with polymeric binders, more facile pathways for electron transfer, and more effective exposure of active surface sites. 1D nanostructured electrodes have been fabricated using a variety of methods, typically showing improved current response which has been attributed to improved CO tolerance, enhanced surface activity, and/or improved transport characteristics. A template wetting approach was used to fabricate an array of platinum nanotubules which were examined electrochemically with regard to the electrooxidation of formic acid. Arrays of 100 and 200 nm nanotubules were compared to a traditional platinum black catalyst, all of which were found to have similar surface areas. Peak formic acid oxidation current was observed to be highest for the 100 nm nanotubule array, followed by the 200 nm array and the Pt black; however, CO tolerance of all electrodes was similar, as were the onset potentials of the oxidation and reduction peaks. The higher current response was attributed to enhanced mass transfer in the nanotubule electrodes, likely due to a combination of both the more open nanostructure as well as the lack of a polymeric binder in the catalyst layer.