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Title: In situ probing of the active site geometry of ultrathin nanowires for the oxygen reduction reaction

To create truly effective electrocatalysts for the cathodic reaction governing proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), namely the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), necessitates an accurate and detailed structural understanding of these electrocatalysts, especially at the nanoscale, and to precisely correlate that structure with demonstrable performance enhancement. To address this key issue, we have combined and interwoven theoretical calculations with experimental, spectroscopic observations in order to acquire useful structural insights into the active site geometry with implications for designing optimized nanoscale electrocatalysts with rationally predicted properties. Specifically, we have probed ultrathin (~2 nm) core–shell Pt~Pd 9Au nanowires, which have been previously shown to be excellent candidates for ORR in terms of both activity and long-term stability, from the complementary perspectives of both DFT calculations and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The combination and correlation of data from both experimental and theoretical studies has revealed for the first time that the catalytically active structure of our ternary nanowires can actually be ascribed to a PtAu~Pd configuration, comprising a PtAu binary shell and a pure inner Pd core. Moreover, we have plausibly attributed the resulting structure to a specific synthesis step, namely the Cu underpotential deposition (UPD) followed by galvanic replacement with Pt. Thus,more » the fundamental insights gained into the performance of our ultrathin nanowires from our demonstrated approach will likely guide future directed efforts aimed at broadly improving upon the durability and stability of nanoscale electrocatalysts in general.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. State Univ. of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY (United States)
  2. State Univ. of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY (United States); Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  3. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  4. Yeshiva Univ., New York, NY (United States)
  5. The Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7863; R&D Project: PM037; KC0201030
Grant/Contract Number:
SC00112704; AC02-98CH10886; FG02-13ER16428; SC-00112704; FG02-03ER15476
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 137; Journal Issue: 39; Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7863
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; density functional theory; X-ray absorption spectroscopy; ultrathin nanowires; oxygen reduction reaction; surface segregation
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1226057