Research Article Issue
PtCu subnanoclusters epitaxial on octahedral PtCu/Pt skin matrix as ultrahigh stable cathode electrocatalysts for room-temperature hydrogen fuel cells
Nano Research 2023, 16 (2): 2252-2258
Published: 03 November 2022

Achieving stable surface structures of metal catalysts is an extreme challenge for obtaining long-term durability and meeting industrial application requirements. We report a new class of metal catalyst, Pt-rich PtCu heteroatom subnanoclusters epitaxially grown on an octahedral PtCu alloy/Pt skin matrix (PtCu1.60), for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in an acid electrolyte. The PtCu1.60/C exhibits an 8.9-fold enhanced mass activity (1.42 A·mgPt−1) over that of commercial Pt/C (0.16 A·mgPt−1). The PtCu1.60/C exhibits 140,000 cycles durability without activity decline and surface PtCu cluster stability owing to unique structure derived from the matrix and epitaxial growth pattern, which effectively prevents the agglomeration of clusters and loss of near-surface active sites. Structure characterization and theoretical calculations confirm that Pt-rich PtCu clusters favor ORR activity and thermodynamic stability. In room-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, the PtCu1.60/C shows enhanced performance and delivers a power density of 154.1/318.8 mW·cm2 and 100 h/50 h durability without current density decay in an air/O2 feedstock.

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