Bimetallic Pd96Fe4 nanodendrites embedded in graphitic carbon nanosheets as highly efficient anode electrocatalysts†
A facile route to anchor a nanoalloy catalyst on graphitic carbon nanosheets (GCNs) has been developed for preparing high-performance electrode materials for application in direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFCs). Uniformly dispersed bimetallic Pd–Fe nanoparticles (NPs) with tunable composition have been immobilized on GCNs derived from mesocarbon microbeads (MCMBs) by a one-pot radiolytic reduction method. The Pd–Fe/GCN hybrid shows promising electrocatalytic activity for the methanol, ethanol, ethylene glycol, tri-ethylene glycol and glycerol oxidation reactions in alkaline medium. The as-prepared flower-shape Pd96Fe4/GCN nanohybrids have high mass activity for the ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR), which is ∼36 times (11 A per mg Pd) higher than that of their monometallic counterparts. Moreover, the onset oxidation potential for the EOR on the Pd96Fe4/GCN nanohybrids negatively shifts ca. 780 mV compared to that on commercial Pd/C electrocatalysts, suggesting fast kinetics and superior electrocatalytic activity. Additionally, chronoamperometry measurements display good long-term cycling stability of the Pd96Fe4/GCN nanohybrids for the EOR and also demonstrate only ∼7% loss in forward current density after 1000 cycles. The superior catalytic activity and stability may have originated from the modified electronic structure of the Pd–Fe nanoalloys and excellent physicochemical properties of the graphitic nanosheets. The present synthetic route using GCNs as the supporting material will contribute to further design of multimetallic nanoarchitectures with controlled composition and desired functions for fuel cell applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: International Year of the Periodic Table : Single Atoms as Active Catalysts