Metallic Two-Dimensional Nanoframes: Unsupported Hierarchical Nickel-Platinum Alloy Nanoarchitectures with Enhanced Electrochemical Oxygen Reduction Activity and Stability

Fernando Godínez-Salomón, Rubén Mendoza-Cruz, M. Josefina Arellano-Jimenez, Miguel Jose-Yacaman, Christopher P. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts that have both high activities and long-term stabilities are needed for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and metal-air batteries. Two-dimensional (2D) materials based on graphene have shown high catalytic activities, however, carbon-based materials result in significant catalyst degradation due to carbon oxidation that occurs at high electrochemical potentials. Here, we introduce the synthesis and electrochemical performance of metallic 2D nanoframes which represent a new approach to translate 2D materials into unsupported (carbon-free) electrocatalysts that have both significantly higher ORR catalytic activities and stabilities compared with conventional Pt/carbon electrocatalysts. Metallic Ni-Pt 2D nanoframes were synthesized by controlled thermal treatments of Pt-decorated Ni(OH)2 nanosheets. The nanoframes consist of a hierarchical 2D framework composed of a highly catalytically active Pt-Ni alloy phase with an interconnected solid and pore network that results in three-dimensional molecular accessibility. The inclusion of Ni within the Pt structure resulted in significantly smaller Pt lattice distances compared to those of Pt nanoparticles. On the basis of its unique local and extended structure, the ORR specific activity of Ni-Pt 2D nanoframes (5.8 mA cmPt-2) was an order of magnitude higher than Pt/carbon. In addition, accelerated stability testing at elevated potentials up to 1.3 VRHE showed that the metallic Ni-Pt nanoframes exhibit significantly improved stability compared with Pt/carbon catalysts. The nanoarchitecture and local structure of metallic 2D nanoframes results in high combined specific activity and elevated potential stability. Analysis of the ORR electrochemical reaction kinetics on the Ni-Pt nanoframes supports that at low overpotentials the first electron transfer is the rate-determining step, and the reaction proceeds via a four electron reduction process. The ability to create metallic 2D structures with 3D molecular accessibility opens up new opportunities for the design of high activity and stability carbon-free catalyst nanoarchitectures for numerous electrocatalytic and catalytic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18660-18674
Number of pages15
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume9
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • electrocatalysts
  • fuel cells
  • nanoframes
  • oxygen reduction reaction
  • two-dimensional materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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