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Intermetallic Pd3Pb nanocubes with high selectivity for the 4-electron oxygen reduction reaction pathway

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Abstract

Pd-Based nanoparticles are excellent alternatives to the typically used Pt-based materials that catalyze fuel cell reactions. Specifically, Pd-based intermetallic nanomaterials have shown great promise as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline media; however, their synthesis remains a challenge and shape-controlled nanoparticles are limited. Here, a low-temperature approach to intermetallic Pd3Pb nanocubes is demonstrated and their electrocatalytic properties evaluated for the ORR. The intermetallic Pd3Pb nanocubes outperformed all reference catalysts, with a mass activity of 154 mA mgPd−1 which is a 130% increase in activity compared to the commercial Pd/C reference and a 230% increase compared to Pd nanocubes. Tafel analysis reveals that the Pd3Pb nanocubes are highly selective for the 4-electron reduction pathway, with minimal HO2 formation. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations show that the increased activity for the intermetallic nanocubes compared to Pd is likely due to the weakening of OH* adsorption, decreasing the required overpotential. These results show that intermetallic Pd3Pb nanocubes are highly efficient for the 4-electron pathway of the ORR and could inspire the study of other shape-controlled intermetallics as catalysts for fuel cell applications.

Graphical abstract: Intermetallic Pd3Pb nanocubes with high selectivity for the 4-electron oxygen reduction reaction pathway

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
15 Nov 2019
Accepted
23 Dec 2019
First published
14 Jan 2020

Nanoscale, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Intermetallic Pd3Pb nanocubes with high selectivity for the 4-electron oxygen reduction reaction pathway

J. T. L. Gamler, K. Shin, H. M. Ashberry, Y. Chen, S. L. A. Bueno, Y. Tang, G. Henkelman and S. E. Skrabalak, Nanoscale, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9NR09759G

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