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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Nov 9;8(44):30090-30098. Epub 2016 Oct 25.

Bimetallic Nickel/Ruthenium Catalysts Synthesized by Atomic Layer Deposition for Low-Temperature Direct Methanol Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.

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Renewable Energy System Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University , 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-713, South Korea.
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , 1206 W. Green St., Urbana, Illinois 61801, United States.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University , 496 Lomita Mall, Stanford, California 94305, United States.
Manufacturing Systems and Design Engineering (MSDE) Program, Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech) , 232 Gongneung-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 139-743, South Korea.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University , 440 Escondido Mall, Stanford, California 94305, United States.


Nickel and ruthenium bimetallic catalysts were heterogeneously synthesized via atomic layer deposition (ALD) for use as the anode of direct methanol solid oxide fuel cells (DMSOFCs) operating in a low-temperature range. The presence of highly dispersed ALD Ru islands over a porous Ni mesh was confirmed, and the Ni/ALD Ru anode microstructure was observed. Fuel cell tests were conducted using Ni-only and Ni/ALD Ru anodes with approximately 350 μm thick gadolinium-doped ceria electrolytes and platinum cathodes. The performance of fuel cells was assessed using pure methanol at operating temperatures of 300-400 °C. Micromorphological changes of the anode after cell operation were investigated, and the content of adsorbed carbon on the anode side of the operated samples was measured. The difference in the maximum power density between samples utilizing Ni/ALD Ru and Pt/ALD Ru, the latter being the best catalyst for direct methanol fuel cells, was observed to be less than 7% at 300 °C and 30% at 350 °C. The improved electrochemical activity of the Ni/ALD Ru anode compared to that of the Ni-only anode, along with the reduction of the number of catalytically active sites due to agglomeration of Ni and carbon formation on the Ni surface as compared to Pt, explains this decent performance.


atomic layer deposition; direct methanol solid oxide fuel cell; heterogeneous catalysts; nickel; ruthenium


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