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Nano Research

Article Title

Ultrathin wavy Rh nanowires as highly effective electrocatalysts for methanol oxidation reaction with ultrahigh ECSA

Authors

Xiaoyang Fu, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Zipeng Zhao, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Chengzhang Wan, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Yiliu Wang, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Zheng Fan, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Frank Song, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Bocheng Cao, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Mufan Li, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Wang Xue, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Yu Huang, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA California Nanosystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
Xiangfeng Duan, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA California Nanosystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

Keywords

rhodium, nanowires, electrocatalysis, MOR (methanol oxidation reaction)

Abstract

Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) have received tremendous research interests because of the facile storage of liquid methanol vs. hydrogen. However, the DMFC today is severely plagued by the poor kinetics and rather high overpotential in methanol oxidation reaction (MOR). Here we report the investigation of the ultrathin Rh wavy nanowires as a highly effective MOR electrocatalyst. We show that ultrathin wavy Rh nanowires can be robustly synthesized with 2–3 nm diameters. Electrochemical studies show a current peak at the potential of 0.61 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), considerably lower than that of Pt based catalysts (~ 0.8–0.9 V vs. RHE). Importantly, with ultrathin diameters and favorable charge transport, the Rh nanowires catalysts exhibit an ultrahigh electrochemically active surface area determined from CO-stripping (ECSACO) of 144.2 m2/g, far exceeding that of the commercial Rh black samples (20 m2/g). Together, the Rh nanowire catalysts deliver a mass activity of 722 mA/mg at 0.61 V, considerably higher than many previously reported electrocatalysts at the same potential. The chronoamperometry studies also demonstrate good stability and CO-tolerance compared with the Rh black control sample, making ultrathin Rh wavy nanowires an attractive electrocatalyst for MOR.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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