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Langmuir. 2010 Jun 1;26(11):9123-9. doi: 10.1021/la9049154.

Effect of surface segregation on the methanol oxidation reaction in carbon-supported Pt-Ru alloy nanoparticles.

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  • 1School of Chemical & Biological Engineering and Research Center for Energy Conversion & Storage, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744, South Korea.


Ru and Pt-Ru (Pt:Ru = 1:1) nanoparticles supported on carbon black were prepared by the borohydride reduction method using oleylamine as a stabilizer in an anhydrous ethanol solvent. We investigated the effect of Pt segregation to the surface of alloy nanoparticles on the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR). As-prepared Pt(1)Ru(1)/C showed a narrow size distribution and a relatively uniform particle distribution on a carbon support. However, its electrocatalytic activity toward the MOR was poor due to the high surface concentration of Ru. As duration time of heat treatment at 200 degrees C was increased up to 2 h, the surface composition of Pt atoms was increased without significant particle growth due to thermally induced segregation of Pt atoms, which were revealed by TEM images, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis, changes in the potentials of zero total charge (pztc), and increase in the oxidation charge of "reduced CO(2)". In particular, from the combination of CO adlayer oxidation and "reduced CO(2)" oxidation charges, the increased surface concentration of Pt of alloy catalysts was relatively quantified when compared to its as-prepared state. Cyclic voltammograms in 0.1 M HClO(4) solution with 0.5 M methanol showed that Pt(1)Ru(1)/C annealed for 2 h at 200 degrees C in a flow of mixture gas of Ar and H(2) (5 vol %) had a less positive onset potential for the MOR. These results demonstrate a definitive contribution from segregation of Pt atoms to the MOR activity.

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