4.8 Article

Structural transformation of carbon-supported Pt3Cr nanoparticles from a disordered to an ordered phase as a durable oxygen reduction electrocatalyst


Volume 6, Issue 18, Pages 10686-10692


DOI: 10.1039/c4nr02799j




  1. National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) [2012CB932800]
  2. Shanghai Science and Technology Committee [11DZ1200400, 12ZR1431200]
  3. Knowledge Innovation Engineering of the CAS [12406, 124091231]
  4. Drexel-SARI Global Funding Scheme

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The sluggish oxygen reduction kinetics and insufficient durability of cathode catalysts restrict the practical application of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. This study focuses on the structural transformation of carbon-supported Pt3Cr from a disordered to an ordered phase and on the effect of such structural transformation on oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and durability. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy results confirm the formation of carbon-supported Pt3Cr intermetallic nanoparticles with a mean particle size of ca. 7.2 nm. Line scanning EDX reveals that the practical Pt-Cr atomic ratio is approximately 3 : 1. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results indicate that the proportion of metallic Pt increases while the binding energy of Pt 4f decreases with such structural transformation. The Pt3Cr/C intermetallic nanoparticles exhibit enhanced mass and specific activities toward the ORR compared with commercial Pt/C but slightly lower mass activity than the disordered Pt3Cr/C alloy nanoparticles. After the accelerated durability test for 5000 cycles, the Pt3Cr intermetallic nanoparticles displayed negligible decay in ORR mass activity; however the ORR mass activity on the isordered Pt3Cr alloy decreases to ca. 50%. Much enhanced durability of the Pt3Cr/C intermetallic nanoparticles toward the ORR is definitely caused by the much higher structural and compositional stabilities of the Pt3Cr/C intermetallic nanoparticles than that of the disordered Pt3Cr/C alloy nanoparticles, suggesting that the Pt3Cr intermetallic nanoparticles may serve as highly active and durable ORR electrocatalysts for practical application.


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