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Terrace-Rich Ultrathin PtCu Surface on Earth-Abundant Metal for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

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posted on 2023-09-18, 16:34 authored by Mingze Sun, Shuyan Gong, Zhengwen Li, Helai Huang, Yanjun Chen, Zhiqiang Niu
The activity and stability of the platinum electrode toward the oxygen reduction reaction are size-dependent. Although small nanoparticles have high Pt utilization, the undercoordinated Pt sites on their surface are assumed to have too strong oxygen binding strength, thus often leading to compromised activity and surface instability. Herein, we report an extended nanostructured PtCu ultrathin surface to reduce the number of low-coordination sites without sacrificing the electrochemical active surface area (ECSA). The surface shows (111)-oriented characteristics, as proven by electrochemical probe reactions and spectroscopies. The PtCu surface brings over an order of magnitude increase in specific activity relative to commercial Pt/C and nearly 4-fold enhancement in ECSA compared to traditional thin films. Moreover, due to the weak absorption of air impurities (e.g., SO2, NO, CO) on highly coordinated sites, the catalyst displays enhanced contaminant tolerance compared with nanoparticulate Pt/C. This work promises a broad screening of extended nanostructured surface catalysts for electrochemical conversions.

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