Case 14330

AuPt Nanoparticles for Catalysis Application in Metal-Air Electrochemical Cells


Catalysis, Metal-air electrochemical cell, Platinum, Nanoparticles


Metal-air batteries and fuel cells, etc.

  • Sluggish oxygen reduction reaction during discharge and poor oxygen evolution reaction kinetics during charging in Li+ electrolyte
  • Limitations of conventional catalysts including gold and platinum nanoparticles


The invention provides a method and device for promoting chemical reactions in a metal-air electrochemical cell. Au-Pt nanoparticles are of considerable interest in the area of methanol oxidation reaction (MOR), or in oxygen reduction reactions. The addition of Au to Pt affects its electronic structure, which can thus positively influence the MOR activity by promoting OH group formation. Based on this discovery, the present invention designs improved non-aqueous, metal-air electrochemical cells having a positive electrode that incorporates a catalyst comprising platinum-containing nanoparticles on a porous substrate. The nanoparticle can form a core-shell structure, which includes a core of non-precious metal and a shell comprising platinum and a second metal. The techniques of synthesizing these nanoparticles are also provided.

  • Enhanced catalysis properties and device efficiency
  • Lower amount of required platinum

  • Professor Yang Shao-horn (Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Professor Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli (Department of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, MIT)
  • Professor Hubert Gasteiger (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. Christopher Carlton (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. Junhyung Kim (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. Zhichuan Xu (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Jin Suntivich (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

U.S. Published Patent Application 13/098653, filed on May 2, 2011

PCT Patent Application PCT/US2011/034780, filed on May 2, 2011


Y.-C. Lu, Z. Xu, H. A. Gasteiger, S. Chen, K. Hamad-Schifferli, and Y. Shao-Horn, “Platinum-Gold Nanoparticles: A Highly Active Bifunctional Electrocatalyst for Rechargeable Lithium-Air Batteries,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2010, 32 (135) 12170-12171.

Z. Xu, Y. Shao-Horn, K. Hamad-Schifferli, “Direct Colloidal Route for Pt-Covered AuPt Bimetallic Nanoparticles,” Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2010, 1, 2514–2518.

Last revised: March 1, 2012

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