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Icosahedral Platinum Alloy Nanocrystals with Enhanced Electrocatalytic Activities

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journal contribution
posted on 25.07.2012, 00:00 by Jianbo Wu, Liang Qi, Hongjun You, Adam Gross, Ju Li, Hong Yang
This communication describes the synthesis of Pt–M (M = Au, Ni, Pd) icosahedral nanocrystals based on the gas reducing agent in liquid solution method. Both CO gas and organic surface capping agents play critical roles in stabilizing the icosahedral shape with {111} surfaces. Among the Pt–M alloy icosahedral nanocrystals generated, Pt3Ni had an impressive ORR specific activity of 1.83 mA/cm2Pt and 0.62 A/mgPt. Our results further show that the area-specific activity of icosahedral Pt3Ni catalysts was about 50% higher than that of the octahedral Pt3Ni catalysts (1.26 mA/cm2Pt), even though both shapes are bound by {111} facets. Density functional theory calculations and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that this improvement may arise from strain-induced electronic effects.