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Title: Spontaneous incorporation of gold in palladium-based ternary nanoparticles makes durable electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction

Replacing platinum by a less precious metal such as palladium, is highly desirable for lowering the cost of fuel-cell electrocatalysts. However, the instability of palladium in the harsh environment of fuel-cell cathodes renders its commercial future bleak. Here we show that by incorporating trace amounts of gold in palladium-based ternary (Pd6CoCu) nanocatalysts, the durability of the catalysts improves markedly. Using aberration-corrected analytical transmission electron microscopy in conjunction with synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy, we show that gold not only galvanically replaces cobalt and copper on the surface, but also penetrates through the Pd–Co–Cu lattice and distributes uniformly within the particles. The uniform incorporation of Au provides a stability boost to the entire host particle, from the surface to the interior. The spontaneous replacement method we have developed is scalable and commercially viable. This work may provide new insight for the large-scale production of non-platinum electrocatalysts for fuel-cell applications.
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  1. Huazhong Univ. of Science and Technology
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  3. JEOL USA, Inc., Peabody, MA (United States)
  4. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
  5. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  6. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723; ncomms11941
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515; SC0012704; SC0001086
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Oxygen Reduction Reaction; Fuel Cell; Center for Functional Nanomaterials
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1336047