American Chemical Society
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Octahedral Pd3Cu7 Catalysts on Diverse Support Materials for Efficient Hydrogen Evolution: Theoretical Investigation and Mechanistic Perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-23, 16:08 authored by Swarnalata Swain, Asif Iqbal, Sayali Ashok Patil, Ranjit Thapa, Manav Saxena, Arvind H. Jadhav, Akshaya K. Samal
This work showcases a novel strategy for the synthesis of shape-dependent alloy nanostructures with the incorporation of solid substrates, leading to remarkable enhancements in the electrocatalytic performance. Herein, an aqueous medium approach has been used to synthesize an octahedral PdXCuY alloy of different Pd:Cu ratios to better comprehend their electrocatalytic potential. With the aim to outperform high activity and efficient stability, zirconium oxide (ZrO2), graphene oxide nanosheets (GONs), and hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets (hBNNs) solid substrates are occupied to decorate the optimized Pd3Cu7 catalyst with a minimum 5 wt % metal loading. When compared to the counterparts and different ratios, the Pd3Cu7@hBNNs catalyst exhibited an optimal activity for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). The lower overpotential and Tafel values observed are 64 and 51 mV/dec for Pd3Cu7@hBNNs followed by Pd3Cu7@ZrO2, which showed a 171 mV overpotential and a 98 mV/dec Tafel value, respectively. Meanwhile, the Pd3Cu7@GONs were found to have a 202 mV overpotential and a 110 mV/dec Tafel value. The density functional theory, which achieves a lower free energy (ΔGH*) value for Pd3Cu7@hBNNs than the other catalysts for HER, further supports its excellent performance in achieving the Volmer–Heyrovsky mechanism path. Moreover, the superior HER activity and sturdier resilience after 8 h of stability may be due to the synergy between the metal atoms, monodisperse decoration, and the coordination effect of the support material.