Particle-size effect of nanoscale platinum catalysts in oxygen reduction reaction: An electrochemical and 195Pt EC-NMR study

Hiroshi Yano, Junji Inukai, Hiroyuki Uchida, Masahiro Watanabe, Panakkattu K. Babu, Takeshi Kobayashi, Jong Ho Chung, Eric Oldfield, Andrzej Wieckowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) measurements and 195Pt electrochemical nuclear magnetic resonance (EC-NMR) spectroscopy were combined to study a series of carbon-supported platinum nanoparticle electrocatalysts (Pt/CB) with average diameters in the range of roughly 1-5 nm. ORR rate constants and H2O2 yields evaluated from hydrodynamic voltammograms did not show any particle size dependency. The apparent activation energy of 37 kJ mol-1, obtained for the ORR rate constant, was identical to that obtained for bulk platinum electrodes. Pt/CB catalysts on Nafion produced only 0.7-1% of H2O2, confirming that the direct four-electron reduction of O2 to H2O is the predominant reaction. NMR spectral features showed characteristic size dependence, and the line shapes were reproduced by using the layer-deconvolution model. Namely, the variations in the NMR spectra with particle size can be explained as due to the combined effect of the layer-by-layer variation of the s-type and d-type local density of states. However, the surface peak position of 195Pt NMR spectra and the spin-lattice relaxation time of surface platinum atoms showed practically no change with the particle size variation. We conclude that there is a negligible difference in the surface electronic properties of these Pt/CB catalysts due to size variations and therefore, the ORR activities are not affected by the differences in the particle size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4932-4939
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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