A novel IrNi@PdIr/C core–shell electrocatalyst with enhanced activity and durability for the hydrogen oxidation reaction in alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells†
Herein, a novel non-platinum core–shell catalyst, namely, IrNi@PdIr/C was prepared via a galvanic replacement reaction; it exhibits enhanced hydrogen oxidation activity and excellent stability under alkaline conditions. Electrochemical experiments demonstrated that the mass and specific activities at 50 mV of IrNi@PdIr/C are 2.1 and 2.2 times that of commercial Pt/C in 0.1 M KOH at 298 K, respectively. Moreover, accelerated degradation tests have shown that the electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) of IrNi@PdIr/C reduces by only 5.1%, which is almost 4 times less than that of commercial Pt/C and the mass activity at 50 mV of IrNi@PdIr/C after 2000 potential cycles is still 1.8 times higher than that of aged Pt/C. XRD and XPS analysis suggest that the enhanced HOR activity is attributed to the weakening of the hydrogen binding to the PdIr overlayers induced by the IrNi core. The better stability to potential cycling can be associated with the PdIr shell, which inhibits oxide formation. These results suggest that IrNi@PdIr/C is a promising non-platinum anode catalyst for alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells.