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Three-dimensional (3D) hierarchical Pt-Cu tetragonal, highly branched, and dendritic superstructures have been synthesized by a facile template-free hydrothermal approach, showing growth patterns along (111, 110), (111), and (100) planes, respectively. These structures have been characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and a detailed formation mechanism has been developed, which shows that the in situ formed I2 and the galvanic replacement reaction between Cu and Pt4+ may guide the formation of these superstructures. The comparative electrocatalytic properties have been investigated for methanol and ethanol oxidation. Due to their interconnected arms, sufficient absorption sites, and exposed surfaces, these superstructures exhibit enhanced electrocatalytic performance for electro-oxidation of methanol and ethanol when compared with commercial Pt/C and Pt black.

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Publication history

Received: 05 July 2014
Revised: 15 August 2014
Accepted: 16 August 2014
Published: 20 September 2014
Issue date: March 2015

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Heidelberg 2014

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 91127040 and 21221062), and the State Key Project of Fundamental Research for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (No. 2011CB932402).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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