Design of ultrathin Pt-Mo-Ni nanowire catalysts for ethanol electrooxidation

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Science Advances  30 Aug 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 8, e1603068
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603068

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Developing cost-effective, active, and durable electrocatalysts is one of the most important issues for the commercialization of fuel cells. Ultrathin Pt-Mo-Ni nanowires (NWs) with a diameter of ~2.5 nm and lengths of up to several micrometers were synthesized via a H2-assisted solution route (HASR). This catalyst was designed on the basis of the following three points: (i) ultrathin NWs with high numbers of surface atoms can increase the atomic efficiency of Pt and thus decrease the catalyst cost; (ii) the incorporation of Ni can isolate Pt atoms on the surface and produce surface defects, leading to high catalytic activity (the unique structure and superior activity were confirmed by spherical aberration–corrected electron microscopy measurements and ethanol oxidation tests, respectively); and (iii) the incorporation of Mo can stabilize both Ni and Pt atoms, leading to high catalytic stability, which was confirmed by experiments and density functional theory calculations. Furthermore, the developed HASR strategy can be extended to synthesize a series of Pt-Mo-M (M = Fe, Co, Mn, Ru, etc.) NWs. These multimetallic NWs would open up new opportunities for practical fuel cell applications.

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