Nano Research

Article Title

Conversion of PtNi alloy from disordered to ordered for enhanced activity and durability in methanol-tolerant oxygen reduction reactions


platinum and nickel intermetallic nanoparticle, oxygen reduction reaction, methanol tolerance, electrocatalyst, durability


The development of cost-effective oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts with a high methanol tolerance and enhanced durability is highly desirable for direct methanol fuel cells. This work focuses on the conversion of PtNi nanoparticles from a disordered solid solution to an ordered intermetallic compound. Here the effect of this conversion on ORR activity, durability, and methanol tolerance are characterized. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy results confirm the formation of ordered PtNi intermetallic nanoparticles with high dispersion and a mean particle size of about 7.6 nm. The PtNi intermetallic nanoparticles exhibited enhanced mass and specific activities toward the methanol-tolerant ORR in pure and methanol-containing electrolytes. The specific activity of the ORR at 0.85 V on the PtNi intermetallic nanoparticles is almost 6 times greater than on commercial Pt/C and 3 times greater than on disordered PtNi alloy. Durability tests indicated a minimal loss of ORR activity for PtNi intermetallic nanoparticles after 5,000 potential cycles, whereas the ORR activity decreased by 28% for disordered PtNi alloy. The enhanced methanol- tolerant ORR activity and durability may be attributed to the structural and compositional stabilities of the ordered PtNi intermetallic nanoparticles compared relative to the stabilities of the disordered PtNi alloy, strongly suggesting that the PtNi intermetallic nanoparticles may serve as highly active and durable methanol-tolerant ORR electrocatalysts for practical applications.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press