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020017: Electrically conductive polycrystalline diamond and particulate metal-based electrodes for fuel cells and other electrochemical applications

Diamond is a material of significant interest in material science given its collection of impressive mechanical electrical acoustic and chemical properties. One method for fabricating thin-films of synthetic diamond is through chemical vapor deposition. Conductive diamond can be grown in the presence of boron. Platinum can be integrated into the diamond surface to form a Pt/diamond composite that is electroactive for generating key elements in fuel cells and other electrochemical applications. Description : The invention is a dimensionally stable Pt/diamond composite electrode for use in electrosynthesis electrochemical-based toxic waste remediation and energy conversion devices like fuel cells. The dimensionally stable and corrosion-resistant electrodes consist of well-faceted microcrystallites with dispersed Pt particles incorporated into the diamond surface. The resulting metal nanoparticles are well anchored and in communication with the current collecting diamond substrate. The resulting electroactive composite can support the under-potential deposition of hydrogen the reduction of oxygen and the oxidation of methanol. The electroactivity and dispersed Pt nanoparticles are stable after a myriad of applied voltage sweeps. Applications: Several markets would benefit from this invention in particular companies that manufacture fuel cells electrolyzers to generate chlorine and ozone or reactors that electrochemically remediate toxic waste. Development Status: Prototype exists; proof of concept demonstrated. IP Protection Status: US 6884290 (issued Apr 26 2005)

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