Journal of Materials Research


Nanoscale titania ceramic composite supports for PEM fuel cells

Karen J. Armstronga1, Lior Elbaza1 c1, Eve Bauera1, Anthony K. Burrella1, Thomas M. McCleskeya1 and Eric L. Broshaa1

a1 Materials Physics and Applications Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545


Titanium-based ceramic supports designed for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells were synthesized, and catalytic activity was explored using electrochemical analysis. Synthesis of high surface area TiO2 and TiO supports was accomplished by rapidly heating a gel of polyethyleneimine-bound titanium in a tube furnace under a forming gas atmosphere. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed anatase phase formation for the TiO2 materials and crystallite sizes of less than 10 nm in both cases. Subsequent disposition of platinum through an incipient wetness approach leads to highly dispersed crystallites of platinum, less than 6 nm each, on the conductive supports. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)/energy dispersive x-ray analysis results showed a highly uniform Ti and Pt distribution on the surface of both materials. The supports without platinum are highly stable to acidic aqueous conditions and show no signs of oxygen reduction reactivity (ORR). However, once the 20 wt% platinum is added to the material, ORR activity comparable to XC-72-based materials is observed.

(Received January 10 2012)

(Accepted May 08 2012)


c1 Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: