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Journal of Electrochemistry ›› 2017, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 199-206.doi: 10.13208/j.electrochem.161249

• Special Issue in Honor of Professor Zhaowu Tian on His 90th Birthday • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparison of Oxygen Reduction Reaction Activity of Pt-Alloy Nanocubes

Yongan Tang1,3, Lin Dai1, Shouzhong Zou1,2*   

  1. 1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA; 2. Department of Chemistry, American University, Washington DC 20016, USA; 3. Department of Chemistry, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48039, USA
  • Received:2017-01-17 Revised:2017-02-15 Online:2017-04-28 Published:2017-02-16
  • Contact: Shouzhong Zou E-mail:szou@american.edu
  • Supported by:

    This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation (CHE 1156425,CHE 1559670).


Alloying Pt with the first row non-noble transition metals has been demonstrated to increase the catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), which is the cathode reaction of the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and metal-air batteries. However, how much the ORR activity improvement comes from the alloying elements remains controversial. In this paper, the nanocubes of PtMn, PtFe, PtCo, and PtNi with the similar size and composition were prepared and their ORR activities were explored, in order to investigate the effects of alloying elements on the catalytic activity. The use of cubic shape particles minimizes the contribution to the activity from particle surface structural difference. The results showed that the ORR activity vs. Pt d-band center plot had a volcano shape and PtCo nanocube is the most active. These observations are in harmony with density functional theory calculations on well-defined surfaces in the framework of the d-band theory.

Key words: Pt-alloy nanocubes, oxygen reduction reaction, proton exchange membrane fuel cells, d-band theory

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