Exposed facet-controlled N2electroreduction on distinct Pt3Fe nanostructures of nanocubes, nanorods and nanowires

Wu Tong, Bolong Huang, Pengtang Wang, Qi Shao, Xiaoqing Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the correlation between exposed surfaces and performances of controlled nanocatalysts can aid effective strategies to enhance electrocatalysis, but this is as yet unexplored for the nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR). Here, we first report controlled synthesis of well-defined Pt3Fe nanocrystals with tunable morphologies (nanocube, nanorod and nanowire) as ideal model electrocatalysts for investigating the NRR on different exposed facets. The detailed electrocatalytic studies reveal that the Pt3Fe nanocrystals exhibit shape-dependent NRR electrocatalysis. The optimized Pt3Fe nanowires bounded with high-index facets exhibit excellent selectivity (no N2H4 is detected), high activity with NH3 yield of 18.3 μg h-1 mg-1cat (0.52 μg h-1 cm-2ECSA; ECSA: electrochemical active surface area) and Faraday efficiency of 7.3% at -0.05 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode, outperforming the {200} facet-enclosed Pt3Fe nanocubes and {111} facet-enclosed Pt3Fe nanorods. They also show good stability with negligible activity change after five cycles. Density functional theory calculations reveal that, with high-indexed facet engineering, the Fe-3d band is an efficient d-d coupling correlation center for boosting the Pt 5d-electronic exchange and transfer activities towards the NRR.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbernwaa088
JournalNational Science Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • facet-controlled
  • high-index
  • Nreduction
  • nanowire
  • PtFe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this