Projects per year
Bimetallic Pt-Pd core-shell nanocrystals (NCs) are synthesized through a two-step process with controlled Pd thickness from sub-monolayer to multiple atomic layers. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalytic activity and methanol oxidation reactivity of the core-shell NCs for fuel cell applications in alkaline solution are systematically studied and compared based on different Pd thickness. It is found that the Pd shell helps to reduce the over-potential of ORR by up to 50mV when compared to commercial Pd black, while generating up to 3-fold higher kinetic current density. The carbon monoxide poisoning test shows that the bimetallic NCs are more resistant to the CO poisoning than Pt NCs and Pt black. It is also demonstrated that the bimetallic Pt-Pd core-shell NCs can enhance the current density of the methanol oxidation reaction, lowering the over-potential by 35 mV with respect to the Pt core NCs. Further investigation reveals that the Pd/Pt ratio of 1/3, which corresponds to nearly monolayer Pd deposition on Pt core NCs, gives the highest oxidation current density and lowest over-potential. This study shows for the first time the systematic investigation of effects of Pd atomic shells on Pt-Pd bimetallic nanocatalysts, providing valuable guidelines for designing high-performance catalysts for fuel cell applications.