Durable hybrid electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Fei Xiao, Gui Liang Xu, Cheng Jun Sun, Inhui Hwang, Mingjie Xu, Hsi wen Wu, Zidong Wei, Xiaoqing Pan, Khalil Amine, Minhua Shao

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The low durability of carbon-based non-precious metal electrocatalysts hinders their practical applications in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In this study, we rationally design a hybrid Pt-Fe-N-C electrocatalyst with unprecedented durability. It consists of abundant Pt and Fe single atoms homogeneously dispersed on the nitrogen-doped carbon support and a small amount of Pt-Fe alloy nanoparticles. A PEMFC with Pt-Fe-N-C as the cathode shows a larger peak power density (0.75 W cm−2) than that with Fe-N-C as the cathode (0.50 W cm−2). The remarkable durability of Pt-Fe-N-C is reflected from no noticeable drop in the half-wave potential after 70000 potential cycles between 0.6 and 1.0 V in the liquid cell, and 80% current retention after 85 h of potential hold at 0.4 V in the fuel cell. This work demonstrates the feasibility of improving the durability of Fe-N-C material via ultra-low Pt doping and makes non-precious metal electrocatalysts be close to achieving commercial metrics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105192
Number of pages8
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Durability
  • Oxygen reduction reaction
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cells
  • Single-atom catalyst

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