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Conformational Effects of Pt-Shells on Nanostructures and Corresponding Oxygen Reduction Reaction Activity of Au-Cluster-Decorated NiOx@Pt Nanocatalysts

1
Institute of Electronics Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
2
Department of Engineering and System Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
3
School of Biomedical Engineering, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
4
National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Hsinchu 30007, Taiwan
5
Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
6
Hierarchical Green-Energy Materials (Hi-GEM) Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
7
Higher Education Sprout Project, Competitive Research Team, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071003
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
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Abstract

Herein, ternary metallic nanocatalysts (NCs) consisting of Au clusters decorated with a Pt shell and a Ni oxide core underneath (called NPA) on carbon nanotube (CNT) support were synthesized by combining adsorption, precipitation, and chemical reduction methods. By a retrospective investigation of the physical structure and electrochemical results, we elucidated the effects of Pt/Ni ratios (0.4 and 1.0) and Au contents (2 and 9 wt.%) on the nanostructure and corresponding oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of the NPA NCs. We found that the ORR activity of NPA NCs was mainly dominated by the Pt-shell thickness which regulated the depth and size of the surface decorated with Au clusters. In the optimal case, NPA-1004006 (with a Pt/Ni of 0.4 and Au of ~2 wt.%) showed a kinetic current (JK) of 75.02 mA cm−2 which was nearly 17-times better than that (4.37 mA cm−2) of the commercial Johnson Matthey-Pt/C (20 wt.% Pt) catalyst at 0.85 V vs. the reference hydrogen electrode. Such a high JK value resulted in substantial improvements in both the specific activity (by ~53-fold) and mass activity (by nearly 10-fold) in the same benchmark target. Those scenarios rationalize that ORR activity can be substantially improved by a syngeneic effect at heterogeneous interfaces among nanometer-sized NiOx, Pt, and Au clusters on the NC surface. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxygen reduction reaction; nanocatalysts; carbon nanotube; wet-chemical reduction method; Au-clusters; mass activity oxygen reduction reaction; nanocatalysts; carbon nanotube; wet-chemical reduction method; Au-clusters; mass activity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bhalothia, D.; Fan, Y.-J.; Lai, Y.-C.; Yang, Y.-T.; Yang, Y.-W.; Lee, C.-H.; Chen, T.-Y. Conformational Effects of Pt-Shells on Nanostructures and Corresponding Oxygen Reduction Reaction Activity of Au-Cluster-Decorated NiOx@Pt Nanocatalysts. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1003.

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