Collaborative CRC work on ultrasmall Pt clusters for the ORR

Ultrasmall Pt clusters derived from Pt@MOF materials for the oxygen reduction

The electrocatalytic oxygen reduction (ORR) using a platinum catalyst is considered as the key to many energy applications, such as fuel cell technologies. In a joint effort the teams of Aliaksandr Bandarenka, Roland A. Fischer and Sebastian Günther from the CRC, Alessio Gagliardi from the TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Jan Macák from the CEITEC in Brno (Czech Republic) have achieved a breakthrough in preparing ultrasmall Pt clusters with optimal size for the efficient electrocatalytic ORR in proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells by combining theory and experiment. The results were published online on June 5, 2019 in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

By utilizing a simple computational model, the mass activity of Pt clusters for ORR was predicted. The forecasted activities were affirmed with the experimental results for 1.1 nm sized Pt clusters, which were obtained by decomposition of Pt clusters embedded in the zeolitic imidazolate framework ZIF-8. The obteined Pt clusters exhibit a mass activity of 0.87 A mgPt-1 , which is one of the highest mass activities reported to date.