Networked Pt–Sn nanowires as efficient catalysts for alcohol electrooxidation†
Direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFCs) have attracted growing research interest as clean high-efficiency energy conversion devices, however the design and creation of high-performance anode catalysts for DAFCs is still extremely desirable. Herein, we report a wet-chemical method for making bimetallic aerogel networked Pt–Sn nanowires (NWs) with tunable compositions. All of the obtained networked Pt–Sn NWs exhibit better mass activities and specific activities in both the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) and ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) than commercial Pt/C due to their unique three-dimensional (3D) porosity with larger surface areas and the presence of structural defects, with the optimized networked Pt6Sn3 NWs displaying the best mass activities of up to 1.08 mA μgPt−1 for the EOR and 1.45 mA μgPt−1 for the MOR in acid media. The networked Pt6Sn3 NWs also exhibited enhanced stability toward both the EOR and MOR compared to Pt/C. The present work suggests that the networked NWs with high surface areas and rich defects are indeed a unique class of efficient electrocatalysts for alcohol electrooxidation.