Ternary PtNi/PtxPb/Pt core/multishell nanowires as efficient and stable electrocatalysts for fuel cell reactions†
Platinum (Pt) is the best catalyst component towards fuel cell reactions, while its scarcity and high cost largely restrict its practical applications. To overcome these limitations, precisely designing functional Pt-based electrocatalysts is highly desirable. Herein, for the first time we report a facile strategy for the construction of ternary PtNi/PtxPb/Pt core/multishell nanowires (NWs), which combine the features of a core–multishell structure, an alloy effect, and a one dimensional structure. The use of preformed ultrathin PtNi NWs as substrates, sequential reduction/diffusion of Pb onto the ultrathin PtNi NWs, and the further reduction of Pt play important roles in the formation of ternary PtNi/PtxPb/Pt NWs. The combined features enable them to be more active and stable for anodic alcohol oxidations including the methanol oxidation reaction, ethanol oxidation reaction, ethylene glycol oxidation reaction, and glycerol oxidation reaction, as well as the cathodic oxygen reduction reaction than commercial Pt/C. Among various electrocatalysts investigated, the optimized PtNi0.67Pb0.26 NWs show the best activity and durability for all the fuel cell reactions tested. This work highlights the importance of precise composition and structure tunings of Pt-based electrocatalysts for fuel cell reactions.