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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 389505, 8 pages
Research Article

Highly Stable and Active Pt/Nb-TiO2 Carbon-Free Electrocatalyst for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

1General Motors Global Research and Development Center, Warren, MI 48090-9055, USA
2Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 5B9
3Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique-Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Université du Québec, Varennes, QC, Canada J3X 1S2

Received 13 March 2012; Accepted 30 May 2012

Academic Editor: Tanaji P. Gujar

Copyright © 2012 Shuhui Sun 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.


The current materials used in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are not sufficiently durable for commercial deployment. One of the major challenges lies in the development of an inexpensive, efficient, and highly durable and active electrocatalyst. Here a new type of carbon-free Pt/Nb-TiO2 electrocatalyst has been reported. Mesoporous Nb-TiO2 hollow spheres were synthesized by the sol-gel method using polystyrene (PS) sphere templates. Pt nanoparticles (NPs) were then deposited onto mesoporous Nb-TiO2 hollow spheres via a simple wet-chemical route in aqueous solution, without the need for surfactants or potentiostats. The growth densities of Pt NPs on Nb-TiO2 supports could be easily modulated by simply adjusting the experimental parameters. Electrochemical studies of Pt/Nb-TiO2 show much enhanced activity and stability than commercial E-TEK Pt/C catalyst. PtNP/Nb-TiO2 is a promising new cathode catalyst for PEMFC applications.