Atomic PdAu Interlayer Sandwiched into Pd/Pt Core/Shell Nanowires Achieves Superstable Oxygen Reduction Catalysis

Lu Tao, Bolong Huang (Corresponding Author), Fengdan Jin, Yong Yang, Mingchuan Luo, Mingzi Sun, Qian Liu, Faming Gao, Shaojun Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Rationally designing the core/shell architecture of Pt-based electrocatalysts has been demonstrated as an effective way to induce a surface strain effect for promoting the sluggish kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode of fuel cells. However, unstable core dissolution and structural collapse usually occur in Pt-based core/shell catalysts during the long-term cycling operation, greatly impacting actual fuel cell applications. Impeding the dissolution of cores beneath the Pt shells is the key to enhancing the catalytic stability of materials. Herein, a method for sandwiching atomic PdAu interlayers into one-dimensional (1D) Pd/Pt core/shell nanowires (NWs) is developed to greatly boost the catalytic stability of subnanometer Pt shells for ORR. The Pd/PdAu/Pt core/shell/shell NWs display only 7.80% degradation of ORR mass activity over 80 000 potential cycles with no dissolution of Pd cores and good preservation of the holistic sandwich core/shell nanostructures. This is a significant improvement of electrocatalytic stability compared with the Pd/Pt core/shell NWs, which deformed and inactivated over 80 000 potential cycles. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations further demonstrate that the electron-transfer bridge Pd and electron reservoir Au, serving in the PdAu atomic interlayer, both guarantee the preservation of the high electroactivity of surface Pt sites during the long-term ORR stability test. In addition, the Pd/PdAu/Pt NWs show a 1.7-fold higher mass activity (MA) for ORR than the conventional Pd/Pt NWs. The enhanced activity can be attributed to the strong interaction between PdAu interlayers and subnanometer-Pt shells, which suppresses the competitive Pd-4d bands and boosts the surface Pt-5d bands toward the Fermi level for higher electroactivity, proved from DFT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11570-11578
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2020


  • core/shell nanowires
  • oxygen reduction reaction
  • PdAu interlayer
  • stability
  • subnanometer Pt catalysts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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