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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 296589, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/296589
Research Article

In Situ Synthesis and Characterization of Polyethyleneimine-Modified Carbon Nanotubes Supported PtRu Electrocatalyst for Methanol Oxidation

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
2Key Laboratory of Coal Science and Technology of Shanxi Province and Ministry of Education, Taiyuan University of Technology, Shanxi 030024, China
3Department of Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA

Received 29 May 2014; Revised 19 November 2014; Accepted 26 November 2014

Academic Editor: Shijun Liao

Copyright © 2015 Xi Geng 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.

Abstract

PtRu bimetallic nanoparticles were successfully synthesized on polyethyleneimine- (PEI-) functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) via an effective and facile polyol reduction approach. Noncovalent surface modification of MWCNTs with PEI was confirmed by FTIR and zeta potential measurements. The morphology, crystalline structure, and composition of the hybrid material were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), respectively. According to SEM and TEM observations, PtRu nanoparticles with narrow size distribution were homogeneously deposited on PEI-MWCNTs. Cyclic voltammetry tests demonstrated that the as-prepared PtRu/PEI-MWCNTs nanocomposite had a large electrochemical surface area and exhibited enhanced electrocatalytic activity towards methanol oxidation in comparison with oxidized MWCNTs as catalyst support. PEI-functionalized CNTs, as useful building blocks for the assembly of Pt-based electrocatalyst, may have great potential for applications such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC).