Rh nanoparticles supported on ultrathin carbon nanosheets for high-performance oxygen reduction reaction and catalytic hydrogenation†
We reported a facile and scalable salt-templated approach to produce monodisperse Rh nanoparticles (NPs) on ultrathin carbon nanosheets with the assistance of calcination under inert gas. More importantly, in spite of the essentially poor ORR activity of Rh/C, the acquired Rh/C hybrid nanosheets display a comparable ORR activity to the optimal commercial Pt/C catalyst, which may be due to the extra-small size of Rh NPs and the 2D defect-rich amorphous carbon nanosheets that can facilitate the charge transfer and reactive surface exposure. Moreover, Rh/C nanosheets present the optimal current density and best durability with the minimum decline during the entire test, so that ∼93% activity after 20 000 s is achieved, indicating a good lifetime for ORR. In contrast, commercial Pt/C and commercial Rh/C exhibited worse durability, so that ∼74% and ∼85% activities after 20 000 s are maintained. What's more, in the model system of reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), the kinetic constant k for Rh/C nanosheets is 3.1 × 10−3, which is 4.5 times than that of the commercial Rh/C catalyst, revealing that our Rh/C hybrid nanosheets can be potentially applied in industrial catalytic hydrogenation. This work opens a novel and facile way for the rest of the precious metal NPs to be supported on ultrathin carbon nanosheets for heterogeneous catalysis.