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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Nov 12;136(45):15921-4. doi: 10.1021/ja5099066. Epub 2014 Nov 3.

Monodisperse core/shell Ni/FePt nanoparticles and their conversion to Ni/Pt to catalyze oxygen reduction.

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Department of Chemistry and ‡Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, United States.


We report a size-controllable synthesis of monodisperse core/shell Ni/FePt nanoparticles (NPs) via a seed-mediated growth and their subsequent conversion to Ni/Pt NPs. Preventing surface oxidation of the Ni seeds is essential for the growth of uniform FePt shells. These Ni/FePt NPs have a thin (≈1 nm) FePt shell and can be converted to Ni/Pt by acetic acid wash to yield active catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Tuning the core size allows the optimization of their electrocatalytic activity. The specific activity and mass activity of 4.2/0.8 nm core/shell Ni/FePt after acetic acid wash reach 1.95 mA/cm(2) and 490 mA/mgPt at 0.9 V (vs reversible hydrogen electrode), which are much higher than those of benchmark commercial Pt catalyst (0.34 mA/cm(2) and 92 mA/mgPt at 0.9 V). Our studies provide a robust approach to monodisperse core/shell NPs with nonprecious metal core, making it possible to develop advanced NP catalysts with ultralow Pt content for ORR and many other heterogeneous reactions.


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