Effect of Nitrogen Post-Doping on a Commercial Platinum-Ruthenium/Carbon Anode Catalyst

April R. Corpuz, Kevin N. Wood, Svitlana Pylypenko, Arrelaine A. Dameron, Prabhuram Joghee, Tim S. Olson, Guido Bender, Huyen N. Dinh, Thomas Gennett, Ryan M. Richards, Ryan O'Hayre

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This work investigates the effects of after-the-fact chemical modification of a state-of-the-art commercial carbon-supported PtRu catalyst for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). A commercial PtRu/C (JM HiSPEC-10000) catalyst is post-doped with nitrogen by ion-implantation, where "post-doped" denotes nitrogen doping after metal is carbon-supported. Composition and performance of the PtRu/C catalyst post-modified with nitrogen at several dosages are evaluated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), rotating disk electrode (RDE), and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for DMFC. Overall, implantation at high dosage results in 16% higher electrochemical surface area and enhances performance, specifically in the mass transfer region. Rotating disk electrode (RDE) results show that after 5000 cycles of accelerated durability testing to high potential, the modified catalyst retains 34% more electrochemical surface area (ECSA) than the unmodified catalyst. The benefits of nitrogen post-doping are further substantiated by DMFC durability studies (carried out for 425 h), where the MEA with the modified catalyst exhibits higher surface area and performance stability in comparison to the MEA with unmodified catalyst. These results demonstrate that post-doping of nitrogen in a commercial PtRu/C catalyst is an effective approach, capable of improving the performance of available best-in-class commercial catalysts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-60790


  • Carbon support
  • Direct methanol fuel cell
  • Durability
  • Electrocatalyst
  • Nitrogen doping


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