3D PtAu nanoframe superstructure as a high-performance carbon-free electrocatalyst†
In this work, we demonstrate how to synthesize a three-dimensional (3D) ordered PtAu nanoframe superstructure and evaluated its performance as an electrocatalyst. Compared to carbon supported platinum (Pt) nanocrystal electrocatalysts (wherein the aggregation- and carbon corrosion-induced fast degradation is a well-known drawback), the 3D PtAu nanoframe superstructure is free from aggregation and carbon corrosion. The 3D superstructure was self-assembled via drop-casting and evaporation using truncated octahedral PtAu nanoframes (TOh PtAu NFs) as building blocks that were produced by controlled wet-chemical etching of a TOh Au core whose edges and vertexes were selectively deposited with Pt atoms. Density functional theory calculations revealed that the surface alloy state of PtAu gave rise to an enhanced catalytic activity compared to pure Pt. Experimental investigations showed that such 3D superstructure electrocatalysts exhibited excellent mass transfer efficiency, higher catalytic activity and stability towards the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) compared to a commercial Pt/C catalyst. The demonstrated 3D nanoframe superstructure shows great potential for practical catalytic application due to its high structural stability, high catalytic activity, high surface area and ease of fabrication.