Progress on the Functionalization of Carbon Nanostructures for Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts



Carbon supports are functionalized with −COOH, −OH, −NH2, surfactants, and polyelectrolytes to efficiently attach and disperse metal nanoparticles on their surface influencing the catalytic activity of fuel cell electrocatalysts. This chapter discusses different methods which have been applied for carbon support surface modifications, from chemical covalent to physical non-covalent functionalization. In the covalent method, different oxidizing agents and nitrogen-containing precursors are commonly used to anchor functional groups on carbon surface. On the other hand, in the non-covalent functionalization method different surfactants and polyelectrolytes act as capping agents and anchoring sites to help disperse and attach metal nanoparticles. With the help of surface functionalization, both electrocatalyst and fuel cell performance are improved.


Carbon support electrocatalysts Covalent functionalization Carboxylic Hydroxyl Nitrogen Non-covalent functionalization Defects Surfactant Polyelectrolyte Anchoring Metal dispersion ORR MOR PEM AFC 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fuel Cell LabThe Polytechnic School, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State UniversityMesaUSA
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación Científica de YucatánCarretera Sierra Papacal – Chuburná PuertoMéridaMexico
  3. 3.USPCAS-E, National University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryNational Institute of TechnologyTiruchirappalliIndia
  5. 5.Advanced Materials LabSchool of Physics, Madurai Kamaraj UniversityMaduraiIndia

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