College of Science & Institute of Materials Physics and Chemistry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, PR China; Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S3H6, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]
Renewable alcohol oxidation is of vital significance for clean energy conversion and storage. Here, we fabricated a three-dimensional (3D) nanonet-like hybrid catalyst combining Au nanoparticles and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) together, in which PEDOT nanonets act as the framework of the 3D catalyst and the support for the dispersion of Au nanoparticles. The catalyst was designated as Au-PEDOT. By using conductive carbon cloth (CC) as electrode substrates, the as-fabricated Au-PEDOT/CC electrodes were applied to evaluate the electrocatalytic activity towards ethanol and 2-propanol in the alkaline media, respectively. The catalytic activity on Au-PEDOT/CC in terms of the peak current and/or peak current density towards ethanol and 2-propanol oxidation is five times higher than that on comparative Au/CC catalysts, respectively, which is also higher than that on some similar materials reported in the literature. In addition, the Au-PEDOT/CC electrode also possessed great durability and reproducibility. This enhancement in electrocatalytic activity can be attributed to a number of factors: the nano-scale of the Au catalysts, the 3D nanostructure of the catalysts, the conductivity of PEDOT, as well as the effect of alkaline media. These results indicate the as-synthesized Au-PEDOT is a promising electrocatalyst for liquid fuel oxidation.