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Nano Research

Article Title

N-doped carbon shell encapsulated PtZn intermetallic nanoparticles as highly efficient catalysts for fuel cells

Authors

Yakun Xue, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Huiqi Li, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Xieweiyi Ye, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Shuangli Yang, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Zhiping Zheng, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Xiao Han, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Xibo Zhang, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Luning Chen, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Zhaoxiong Xie, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China Pen-Tung Sah Institute of Micro-Nano Science and Technology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Qin Kuang, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Lansun Zheng, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China

Keywords

intermetallic nanoparticles, oxygen reduction reaction, N-doping, metal-organic frameworks, pyrolysis

Abstract

The high cost and poor durability of Pt nanoparticles (NPs) have always been great challenges to the commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Pt-based intermetallic NPs with a highly ordered structure are considered as promising catalysts for PEMFCs due to their high catalytic activity and stability. Here, we reported a facile method to synthesize N-doped carbon encapsulated PtZn intermetallic (PtZn@NC) NPs via the pyrolysis of Pt@Zn-based zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (Pt@ZIF-8) composites. The catalyst obtained at 800 °C (10%-PtZn@NC-800) was found to exhibit a half-wave potential (E1/2) up to 0.912 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) for the cathodic oxygen reduction reaction in an acidic medium, which shifted by 26 mV positively compared to the benchmark Pt/C catalyst. Besides, the mass activity and specific activity of 10%-PtZn@NC-800 at 0.9 V versus RHE were nearly 3 and 5 times as great as that of commercial Pt/C, respectively. It is worth noting that the PtZn@NC showed excellent stability in oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with just 1 mV of the E1/2 loss after 5,000 cycles, which is superior to that of most reported PtM catalysts (especially those disordered solid solutions). Furthermore, such N-doped carbon shell encapsulated PtZn intermetallic NPs showed significantly enhanced performances towards the anodic oxidation reaction of organic small molecules (such as methanol and formic acid). The synergistic effects of the N doped carbon encapsulation structure and intermetallic NPs are responsible for outstanding performances of the catalysts. This work provides us a new engineering strategy to acquire highly active and stable multifunctional catalysts for PEMFCs.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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