South African Journal of Chemistry

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Highly Active, Carbon-supported, PdSn Nano-core, Partially Covered with Pt, as Catalysts for Methanol Oxidation

H Wang, V Linkov, S Ji, W Zhang, Z Lei, R Wang


Carbon-supported, Pt partially covered, PdSn alloy nanoparticles (Pt-PdSn/C) were synthesized via a metathetical reaction of PdSn alloy nanoparticles, and a platinum precursor. The electrochemical activity was evaluated by methanol oxidation. The Pt-PdSn/C catalysts were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and cyclic voltammograms (CV). TEM showed that Pt grows layer-by-layer on the surface of PdSn cores and the thickness of the Pt shell is 0.2 nm, about 1–2 monolayers thick. Cyclic voltammetry results showed that PdSn/C nanoparticles, partially covered by Pt, have a better electrocatalystic performance than conventional PtRu/C and PtPdSn/C catalysts. Electrochemical active surface areas of the Pt-PdSn/C was 2.30 times larger than that of PtRu/C and 1.8 times higher than that of PtPdSn/C catalysts. The results showed that a metathetical reaction is an efficient way of preparing, low Pt loading, highly active electrocatalyst, for methanol oxidation, thus offering great potential for producing Pt-based electrocatalyst for direct methanol fuel cells on a large scale.

Keywords: Electrocatalyst, fuel cell, methanol oxidation, Pt-decorated

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