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Shape-Control of Pt–Ru Nanocrystals: Tuning Surface Structure for Enhanced Electrocatalytic Methanol Oxidation

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journal contribution
posted on 28.12.2017, 00:00 by Liang Huang, Xueping Zhang, Qingqing Wang, Yujie Han, Youxing Fang, Shaojun Dong
Despite the fact that both electrochemical experiments and density functional theory calculations have testified to the superior electrocatalytic activity and CO-poisoning tolerance of platinum–ruthenium (PtRu) alloy nanoparticles toward the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR), the facet-dependent electrocatalytic properties of PtRu nanoparticles are scarcely revealed because it is extremely difficult to synthesize well-defined facets-enclosed PtRu nanocrystals. Herein, we for the first time report a general synthesis of ultrathin PtRu nanocrystals with tunable morphologies (nanowires, nanorods, and nanocubes) through a one-step solvothermal approach and a systematic investigation of the structure-directing effects of different surfactants and the formation mechanism by control experiments and time-dependent studies. In addition, we utilize these {100} and {111} facets-enclosed PtRu nanocrystals as model catalysts to evaluate the electrocatalytic characteristics of the MOR on different facets. Remarkably, {111}-terminated PtRu nanowires exhibit much higher stability and electrocatalytic mass activity toward MOR, which are 2.28 and 4.32 times higher than those of {100}-terminated PtRu nanocubes and commercial Pt/C, respectively, indicating that PtRu {111} facets possess superior methanol oxidation activity and CO-poisoning resistance relative to {100} facets. Our present work provides a series of well-defined PtRu nanocrystals with tunable facets which would be ideal model electrocatalysts for fundamental research in fuel cell electrocatalysis.