Optimization of SnPd Shell Configuration to Boost ORR Performance of Pt-Clusters Decorated CoOx@SnPd Core-Shell Nanocatalyst

Mingxing Cheng, Dinesh Bhalothia, Wei Yeh, Amisha Beniwal, Che Yan, Kuan Wen Wang, Po Chun Chen, Xin Tu, Tsan Yao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Fuel cells are expected to bring change to the whole human race when commercialized, however, the sluggish kinetics of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) severely hampers their commercial viability. Thus far, platinum (Pt) based catalysts are nearly inevitable due to the harsh redox environment of fuel cells. Thus, minimizing Pt metal loading and increasing Pt utilization is a paramount factor for realizing fuel cell technologies. In this context, herein, we developed a multi-metallic nanocatalyst (NC) comprising Pt-clusters (1 wt.%) decorated SnPd composite shell over cobalt-oxide core crystal underneath (denoted as CSPP). For optimizing the ORR performance of the as-prepared NC, we further modulated the configuration of the SnPd shell. In the optimum case, when the Sn/Pd ratio is 0.5 (denoted as CSPP 1005), the ORR mass activity (MA) is 3034.7 mA mgPt−1 at 0.85 V vs. RHE in 0.1 M KOH electrolyte, which is 45-times higher than the commercial Johnson Matthey-Pt/C (J.M.-Pt/C; 20 wt.% Pt) catalyst (67 mA mgPt−1). The results of physical inspections along with electrochemical analysis suggest that such high performance of CSPP 1005 NC can be attributed to the synergistic collaboration between Pt-clusters, PtPd nanoalloys, and adjacent SnPd domains, where Pt-clusters and PtPd nanoalloys promote the O2 adsorption and subsequent splitting, while the SnPd shell favours the OH relocation step. We believe that the obtained results will open a new avenue for further exploring the high-performance Pt-based catalysts with low Pt-loading and high utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1411
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • core-shell nanocatalyst
  • fuel cells
  • nanocluster decoration
  • oxygen reduction reaction
  • surface stabilization


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