Hierarchical concave layered triangular PtCu alloy nanostructures: rational integration of dendritic nanostructures for efficient formic acid electrooxidation†
The rational construction of multi-dimensional layered noble metal nanostructures is a great challenge since noble metals are not layer-structured materials. Herein, we report a one-pot hydrothermal synthetic method for PtCu hierarchical concave layered triangular (HCLT) nanostructures using DL-carnitine, KI, poly(vinylpyrrolidone), CuCl2, and H2PtCl6. The PtCu HCLT nanostructure is comprised of multilayered triangular dendrites. Its layer number is tunable by changing DL-carnitine concentrations, and the concavity/convexity of the PtCu triangle nanostructures is tunable by changing the H2PtCl6/CuCl2 ratio or KI concentrations. Hierarchical trigonal bipyramid nanoframes are also obtained under certain conditions. Because of its advantageous nanostructure and bimetallic synergetic effect, the obtained PtCu HCLT nanostructure exhibits enhanced electrocatalytic activity and prolonged stability to formic acid oxidation compared to commercial Pt black, Pd/C and some other nanostructures.