A highly efficient PtCo/C electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction†
In this study, we report a novel and simple synthesis strategy to fabricate a leached PtCo/C electrocatalyst, which involves no hydrogen and protective agent in the preparation process. This method is composed of a chemical impregnation, a heat treatment and a leaching procedure, producing PtCo nanoparticles of 4.7 ± 0.5 nm, slightly larger than the size of the PtCo nanoparticles prepared by a tetraoctylammonium bromide (TOAB)-assisted approach in which TOAB serves as a protective agent preventing the agglomeration of the alloy nanoparticles. After the leaching, the as-synthesized leached PtCo/C catalyst demonstrates a comparable oxygen reduction reaction mass activity to that of the TOAB-assisted leached PtCo/C catalyst, which is ca. 2-fold enhancement compared with the in-house Pt(50 wt%)/C and commercial Pt/C (TKK) catalysts.