【Awards and Commendations】Kenta KAKITANI, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Management, wins a Young Researcher Award at The International Conference on Surface Modification of Materials by Ion Beams (SMMIB-2017).

International Conference on Surface Modification of Materials by Ion Beams (SMMIB-2017) gathers scientists from all over the world to exchange ideas, share new knowledge and future trends of ion beam technologies. The conference was held in Lisbon, Portugal, on July 09-14, 2017. About 200 presentations were given at the conference, and Young Researcher Award was given to the student who gave a superior presentation.



Presentation Title: “The Interface between Platinum Nanoparticle Catalysts and an Ar+-Irradiated Carbon Support”

Pt nanoparticles (NPs) on the Ar+-irradiated carbon support were found highly active for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). This suggests that irradiation defects of the support would affect Pt NPs, but the mechanism of the activity improvement has not been clear. We performed here transmission electron microscopy and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) measurements to investigate the effect of the Pt NP-support interface in terms of the size and chemical states of the Pt NPs. The Pt NPs were prepared on the glassy carbon substrate by sputter deposition; their sizes were 5.1 and 3.8 nm on the 380 keV Ar+-irradiated and pristine substrates, respectively. In XANES spectra at Pt M3 and L3 edges, the peak intensity was lower for the irradiated sample, indicating the suppression of Pt oxidation by the irradiation defects. Accordingly, fast kinetics originating from this interfacial chemical-state change, not an increase in the particle size, can explain the high ORR activity.

I’m honored to be given the Young Researcher Award. I’m determined to make more progress in the research on the material modification by the ion-beam irradiation.