Bimetallic cluster provides a higher activity electrocatalyst for methanol oxidation

Brenda L. García, Burjor Captain, Richard D. Adams, Ana B. Hungria, Paul A. Midgley, Sir John Meurig Thomas, John W. Weidner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The cluster complex Pt2Ru4(CO)18 was used as a precursor to prepare a 60 wt% 1:2 Pt:Ru nanoparticles on carbon (PtRu/C) for use as an electrocatalyst for methanol oxidation. This bimetallic carbonyl cluster complex was found to provide smaller, more uniform bimetallic nanoparticle that exhibited higher electrocatalytic activity than a 60 wt% 1:1 Pt:Ru commercial catalyst from E-Tek. Using bimetallic cluster precursors simplifies the synthetic procedures by reducing the need for high temperature reduction and assures a more intimate mixing of the two different metals. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of the catalyst obtained from the cluster precursor showed bimetallic nanoparticles having a narrow size range of 2-3 nm that were dispersed uniformly over the surface of the support. Images of the commercial catalyst showed particles 3-4 nm in diameter that tended to agglomerate near the edges of the carbon support particles. Cyclic voltammograms of methanol oxidation from the two catalysts showed significantly higher activity for the cluster-derived catalyst. The onset potential for methanol oxidation for the cluster-derived catalyst was approximately 170 mV lower than that of the commercial catalyst at 100 A/g Pt, and approximately 250 mV lower at 400 A/g Pt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cluster Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Catalyst
  • Fuel cell
  • Methanol
  • PtRu nanoclusters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry


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