Study on the growth of platinum nanowires as cathode catalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Ruiqing Wang, Xiaolan Cao, Sheng Sui*, Bing Li*, Qingfeng Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The platinum nanowires have been verified to be a promising catalyst to promote the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In this paper, accurately controlled growth of nanowires in a carbon matrix is achieved for reducing Pt loading. The effects of formic acid concentration and reaction temperature on the morphology and size of the Pt nanowires, as well as their electrochemical performances in a single cell, are investigated. The results showed that the increase in the formic acid concentration results in a volcano trend with the length of Pt nanowires. With increasing reduction temperature, the diameter of Pt nanowires increases while Pt particles evolve from one-dimensional to zero-dimensional up to 40 degrees C. A mechanism of the Pt nanowires growth is proposed. The optimized Pt nanowires electrode exhibits a power density (based on electrochemical active surface area) 79% higher than conventional Pt/C one. The control strategy obtained contributes to the design and control of novel nanostructures in nano-synthesis and catalyst applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering
Pages (from-to)364-375
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Pt nanowires
  • Morphology
  • Structure control
  • In situ growth mechanism
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cells


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