Back in February 2008, I wrote a news item about nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes coated with platinum nanoparticles as electrodes in methanol fuel cells. Now the lead author, Zheng Hu, tells me that in the follow-up work, due to be published in Advanced Materials this week, the team at Nanjing University has made significant progress in three aspects:
* Instead of using pure platinum as the coating, the researchers can now work with Pt-Co alloys, which reduces the cost of the device.
* They can now also apply their electrocatalysts to the cathode reaction, so they could run an entire fuel cell based on this technology.
* They have developed a simple preparation process for the catalysts.
The authors hope that their material will be useful not just in fuel cells but also in other electrochemical applications.
PS the original research communication appears to have been delayed somewhat, but is now out:
Published Online: Sep 15 2009 8:49AM