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Electrocatalyst Having Gold Monolayers on Platinum Nanoparticle Cores and Uses Thereof

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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	Scanning electron micrograph of gold clusters on platinum nanoparticles</p>

Scanning electron micrograph of gold clusters on platinum nanoparticles

Technology Marketing Summary

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating chemical reactions in fuel cells for electric vehicles. During stop-and-go driving, though, it dissolves. This destroys the catalytic activity of the expensive metal. By adding gold overlayers or gold clusters to the platinum catalyst, dissolution is retarded during charge-discharge cycling.


An oxygen-reducing electrocatalyst consists of a noble metal-containing core with an atomically thin layer of gold at least partially surrounding the core. The gold may be alloyed with other elements, and the core may be homogeneous or heterogeneous. The gold layer may be in the form of gold islands.


Gold layers on platinum/carbon electrocatalysts stabilize the platinum against dissolution, resulting in a longer catalytic lifetime compared to bulk platinum/carbon catalysts.

Applications and Industries

Fuel cell catalysts; oxygen reduction; heterogeneous catalysis.

More Information

Zhang, et al., “Stabilization of Platinum Oxygen-reduction Electrocatalysts Using Gold Clusters,” Science. 315, 220 (2007)

Press Release

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,704,919
Electrocatalysts having gold monolayers on platinum nanoparticle cores, and uses thereof
The invention relates to gold-coated particles useful as fuel cell electrocatalysts. The particles are composed of an electrocatalytically active core at least partially encapsulated by an outer shell of gold or gold alloy. The invention more particularly relates to such particles having a noble metal-containing core, and more particularly, a platinum or platinum alloy core. In other embodiments, the invention relates to fuel cells containing these electrocatalysts and methods for generating electrical energy therefrom.
Brookhaven National Laboratory 04/27/2010
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
BSA 05-19PrototypeAvailable04/01/201104/01/2011

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To: Poornima Upadhya<>