In this paper we report on a novel, cost-effective fuel cell catalyst solution that meets performance as well as reliability goals set forth by the Department Of Energy for transportation applications for 2010. Our fuel cell catalyst technology is based on an inorganic, conductive nano-fiber network decorated with Pt or Pt-alloy nano-particles. The nano-fibers have diameters in the 10s of nanometers and aspect ratios of ∼100:1. The resulting large surface area, high chemical activity, and efficient electron and proton transport in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) allow for ultra-low material loading at very high performance. Specifically, with a total loading (anode and cathode) of only 0.2mg/cm2, we have demonstrated a performance of 0.25g/kW at 0.65V exceeding the 2010 DOE goal of 0.3g/kW. We also met the DOE target for power density of 0.25 W/cm2 at 0.8V. Very important for practical applications, the initial reliability tests show that our inorganic nano-fiber-based catalysts have a lifetime performance far superior to carbon-based approaches.

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