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In Situ Growth of Pt–Co Nanocrystals on Different Types of Carbon Supports and Their Electrochemical Performance toward Oxygen Reduction

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journal contribution
posted on 23.07.2021, 11:35 by Minghao Xie, Yifeng Shi, Chenxiao Wang, Ruhui Chen, Min Shen, Younan Xia
Carbon-supported Pt–M (M = Co, Ni, and Fe) alloy nanocrystals are widely used as catalysts toward oxygen reduction, a reaction key to the operation of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. Here we report a colloidal method for the in situ growth of Pt–Co nanocrystals on various commercial carbon supports. The use of different carbon supports resulted in not only variations in size and composition for the nanocrystals but also their catalytic activity and durability toward oxygen reduction in acidic media. Among the nanocrystals, those grown on Vulcan XC72 and Ketjenblack EC300J showed the highest specific and mass activities in the 0.1 M HClO4 and 0.05 M H2SO4 electrolytes, respectively. Additionally, the catalysts also showed different durability depending on the strength of the interaction between the nanocrystals and the carbon support. Our analysis demonstrated that the difference in catalytic performance could be ascribed to the distinct effects of carbon support on both the synthetic and catalytic processes.