Dopant-Induced Electronic Structure Modification of HOPG Surfaces: Implications for High Activity Fuel Cell Catalysts

Yingke Zhou, Timothy Holme, Joe Berry, Timothy R. Ohno, David Ginley, Ryan O'Hayre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus Citations

Abstract

N-doped graphite has been reported to provide enhanced catalytic properties as a support material for Pt catalysts in fuel cell applications. With use of a combined experimental and modeling approach, this work identifies the potential fundamental mechanisms for this enhancement effect. To ensure a well-defined experimental system, this work employs highly oriented pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) as a model analogue of the graphite support commonly used in fuel cell applications. Undoped, Ar-doped, and N-doped HOPG substrates have been investigated via electrochemical capacitance and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements. The results indicate that doping, especially N-doping, induces significant modification to the electronic structure of the HOPG surface. A simplified model of the doping effects and band structures for the doped graphite surfaces are proposed to explain these results. When Pt nanoparticles are grown on top of these dopant-modified HOPG surfaces, the resulting Pt/surface-defect interactions significantly impact the Pt nanoparticle nucleation, growth, and catalytic activity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)506-515
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume114
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-47578

Keywords

  • HOPG surfaces
  • metal interactions
  • N-doped graphite

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