Selective exposure of active surfaces of Pt-based electrocatalysts has been demonstrated as an effective strategy to improve Pt utilization and promote oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in fuel cell application. However, challenges remain in stabilizing those active surface structures, which often suffer undesirable degradation and poor durability along with surface passivation, metal dissolution, and agglomeration of Pt-based electrocatalysts. To overcome the aforementioned obstacles, we here demonstrate the unique (100) surface configuration enabling active and stable ORR performance for bimetallic Pt3Co nanodendrite structures. Using elaborate microscopy and spectroscopy characterization, it is revealed that the Co atoms are preferentially segregated and oxidized at the Pt3Co(100) surface. In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) shows that such (100) surface configuration prevents the oxygen chemisorption and oxide formation on active Pt during the ORR process. Thus, the Pt3Co nanodendrite catalyst shows not only a high ORR mass activity of 730 mA/mg at 0.9 V vs RHE, which is 6.6-fold higher than that of the Pt/C, but also impressively high stability with 98% current retention after the acceleration degradation test in acid media for 5000 cycles, far exceeding the Pt or Pt3Co nanoparticles. Density functional theory (DFT) calculation also confirms the lateral and structural effects from the segregated Co and oxides on the Pt3Co(100) surface in reducing the catalyst oxophilicity and the free energy for the formation of an OH intermediate in the ORR.
- (100) surface
- density functional theory
- in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy
- oxygen reduction reaction