Flame synthesis of carbon nanofibers on carbon paper: Physicochemical characterization and application as catalyst support for methanol oxidation
Review articleOpen access

AbstractWe developed a simple, rapid and highly efficient flame synthesis method for direct growing carbon nanofibers (CNFs) on carbon paper (CP) using a common laboratory ethanol flame as both heat and carbon sources. High density CNFs with tangled solid-cored structure were uniformly formed over the Ni-plated CP surface in ∼20 s. The morphologies of the CNFs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. X-ray diffraction study revealed the graphitic nature of the CNFs. Raman spectroscopy analysis confirmed that the CNFs are disordered graphitic nanocrystallites with high degree of exposed edges. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry were used to show that growing CNFs directly on CP facilitates electron transfer with concomitant increase in double-layer capacitance. The CNF/CP was used as support for Pt nanoparticles to study their supporting effect on the catalyst performance. The as prepared Pt/CNF electrocatalyst exhibited much improved electrocatalytic activity for methanol oxidation compared to Pt/CP and commercial Pt/C on CP. High electronic conductivity and improved electrochemical behavior of the CNF/CPs, resulted from direct contact of the nanofibers with CP, combined with unique properties of CNFs, make the synthesized CNF/CPs promising for fuel cell applications.

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