Catalytically active CNT–polymer-membrane assemblies: From synthesis to application
AbstractA new membrane electrode assembly set up for catalytic processes containing carbon nanotubes has been developed. The process includes the nanotube synthesis, sputter deposition of platinum as catalyst and the membrane casting. Aligned nanotube carpets were grown from toluene/ferrocene solutions and sputtered with platinum. Subsequently the assembly was investigated using cyclic voltammetry to confirm a sufficient catalyst activity. A procedure was developed to embed the carbon nanotubes doped with catalyst into SPEEK membranes, while preserving the aligned structure and keeping some surface area of the catalyst-doped nanotubes free of membrane material to allow for easy access to reactants. So far the best results were obtained using an aligned but somewhat loose nanotube structure and a deposition of 0.034 mg/cm2 Pt, forming a combination of small catalyst clusters and a thin film. The assemblies are optimized in respect to application in fuel cells and functional membranes.