Print

Metal nanogrids are prepared on templates consisting of 2D nanoporous interconnected structures, a method offering cost effectiveness, structure uniformity and shape-control. The resulting metal nanogrids mimic the pore structure of the template with metal particle diameter of around 1 nm and overall sizes in the ┬Ám2 range depending on the template particle size. These metal nanogrids can be supported on matrices analogous to typical membranes and can be used in a wide range of applications replacing supported metal particles. The principal advantage of the nanogrids over supported metal nanoclusters is their greater catalytically active surface area. These nanogrids will also have an added separation capacity, due to their inherent porous structure. The new metal nanogrids will be used for the development of the electrodes in fuel cells, which are currently mainly composed of either monometallic Pt or bimetallic Pt/M combination supported inside the carbon pores. The greater catalytically active surface area of the nanogrids will help reduce the amount of platinum needed in the electrodes. In addition, the separation capabilities of the nanogrids are potentially useful for prolonging fuel cell life by avoiding contamination of the cathode and of the electrolyte. The combination of the cost and shape effectiveness of the synthesis method and the properties of the nanogrids provide a great potential for the reduction of the costs of fuel cells. A collaboration is envisioned with the CNM-ANL group who will use the nanogrids as templates for patterned surfaces. Currently supported through seed funds from the PR-NSF-EPSCoR Phase V Program.