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Tweaking Palladium Electronic Structure to Attain Oxygen Reduction Activity Superior to Platinum/C

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journal contribution
posted on 09.07.2020, 16:03 by Saurav Ch. Sarma, Sai Manoj Kaja, Vidyanshu Mishra, Chathakudath Prabhakaran Vinod, Sebastian C. Peter
Enhancing oxygen reduction (ORR) activity through alloying is crucial to improve the performance of a fuel-cell catalysts. In this work, we have studied the alloying effects of 4f rare-earth (RE) metals with palladium. The modified catalyst exhibits better activity (Eonset = 1 V and E1/2 = 0.88 V) and higher selectivity toward H2O (∼97%) compared to the state-of-the-art catalysts due to complete dissociation of O2. Hirshfeld charge analysis and 2D-electron localization function reveal improved adsorbate–adsorbent interaction on the catalyst surface. This work paves a strategy to design highly selective non-Pt-based catalysts for the ORR by controlling electronic structures and surface oxide formation.

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