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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8010038

Engineering Ru@Pt Core-Shell Catalysts for Enhanced Electrochemical Oxygen Reduction Mass Activity and Stability

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2
SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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Abstract

Improving the performance of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts is essential for the commercial efficacy of many renewable energy technologies, including low temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Herein, we report highly active and stable carbon-supported Ru@Pt core-shell nanoparticles (Ru@Pt/C) prepared by a wet chemical synthesis technique. Through rotating disc electrode testing, the Ru@Pt/C achieves an ORR Pt mass-based activity of 0.50 A mgPt−1 at 0.9 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), which exceeds the activity of the state-of-the-art commercial Pt/C catalyst as well as the Department of Energy 2020 PEFC electrocatalyst activity targets for transportation applications. The impact of various synthetic parameters, including Pt to Ru ratios and catalyst pretreatments (i.e., annealing) are thoroughly explored. Pt-based mass activity of all prepared Ru@Pt/C catalysts was found to exceed 0.4 mgPt−1 across the range of compositions investigated, with the maximum activity catalyst having a Ru:Pt ratio of 1:1. This optimized composition of Ru@Pt/C catalyst demonstrated remarkable stability after 30,000 accelerated durability cycles (0.6 to 1.0 V vs. RHE at 125 mV s−1), maintaining 85% of its initial mass activity. Scanning transmission electron microscopy energy dispersive spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) analysis at various stages of electrochemical testing demonstrated that the Pt shell can provide sufficient protection against the dissolution of the otherwise unstable Ru core. View Full-Text
Keywords: core-shell nanoparticles; electrocatalysis; oxygen reduction reaction; fuel cells; electrochemical energy technologies; nanomaterials synthesis core-shell nanoparticles; electrocatalysis; oxygen reduction reaction; fuel cells; electrochemical energy technologies; nanomaterials synthesis
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Jackson, A.; Strickler, A.; Higgins, D.; Jaramillo, T.F. Engineering Ru@Pt Core-Shell Catalysts for Enhanced Electrochemical Oxygen Reduction Mass Activity and Stability. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 38.

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