In fuel-cell technology development, one of the most important objectives is to minimize the amount of Pt, the most employed material as an oxygen reduction and methanol oxidation electro-catalyst. In this paper, we report the synthesis and characterization of Te nanotubes (TeNTs) decorated with Pt nanoparticles, readily prepared from stirred aqueous solutions of PtCl2 containing a suspension of TeNTs, and ethanol acting as a reducing agent, avoiding the use of any hydrophobic surfactants such as capping stabilizing substance. The obtained TeNTs decorated with Pt nanoparticles (TeNTs/PtNPs) have been fully characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area diffraction patterns (SAD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and cyclic voltammetry (CV). We demonstrated that the new material can be successfully employed in fuel cells, either as an anodic (for methanol oxidation reaction) or a cathodic (for oxygen reduction reaction) electrode, with high efficiency in terms of related mass activities and on-set improvement. Remarkably, the cell operates in aqueous electrolyte buffered at pH 7.0, thus, avoiding acidic or alkaline conditions that might lead to, for example, Pt dissolution (at low pH), and paving the way for the development of biocompatible devices and on-chip fuel cells.
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