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A unique approach to designing resilient bi-functional nano-electrocatalysts based on ultrafine bimetallic nanoparticles dispersed in carbon nanospheres

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Abstract

Activity and stability are the key issues for any catalyst. Importantly, the synthesis of catalysts should be facile. Here, we report one-step facile electroless synthesis of ultrafine bimetallic PdPt nanoparticles (∼2 nm) dispersed in hetero-atom doped hollow carbon nanospheres (HCNSs) and PdPt nanoparticles in carbon nanostructures (CNSs) as highly active and stable electrocatalysts for electro-oxidation/-reduction of low molecular weight alcohols such as methanol and ethanol/of oxygen. HCNSs inhibit some of the electrochemical degradation pathways such as migration, agglomeration, isolation and detachment of nanoparticles. The superior mass activity of ultrafine PdPt nanoparticles for methanol/ethanol electro-oxidation (12-/8-fold), excellent operational stability, and high Jf/Jb ratio over commercially available state-of-the-art Pt–C (20 wt%) make them a potential fuel cell anode catalyst. The activity is further improved when PdPt-HCNS and PdPt-CNS are taken together suggesting a synergistic effect. Further, oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) study with embedded nanostructures exhibits a positive ORR peak potential, positive on-set potential (ΔEon-set ∼ −50 mV) & half-wave potential (ΔE1/2 ∼ −25 mV), low Tafel slope (53 mV dec−1), enhanced current density and superior stability compared to that of Pt–C along with preferential 4e ORR pathways. Overall, the catalyst reported here is a potential anode and cathode catalyst for direct alcohol alkaline as well as hydrogen fuel cells.

Graphical abstract: A unique approach to designing resilient bi-functional nano-electrocatalysts based on ultrafine bimetallic nanoparticles dispersed in carbon nanospheres

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Mar 2017, accepted on 24 Apr 2017 and first published on 24 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA02293J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Advance Article
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    A unique approach to designing resilient bi-functional nano-electrocatalysts based on ultrafine bimetallic nanoparticles dispersed in carbon nanospheres

    R. Nandan and K. K. Nanda, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA02293J

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