Rh-doped PdAg nanoparticles as efficient methanol tolerance electrocatalytic materials for oxygen reduction

Yingjun Sun, Bolong Huang, Nuoyan Xu, Yingjie Li, Mingchuan Luo, Chunji Li, Yingnan Qin, Lei Wang, Shaojun Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) have received extensive attention on their high efficiency, high reliability, and no carbon emission. Unfortunately, the poor methanol tolerance and sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at cathode have seriously hindered their further development. Herein we report the synthesis of a new class of Rh-doped PdAg alloy nanoparticles (NPs) for boosting ORR activity with high methanol tolerance capacity concurrently. The ORR mass activity of typical Rh 4 Pd 40 Ag 56 NPs is 4.2 times higher than that of commercial Pt catalyst. Moreover, it shows a great methanol tolerance capability by maintaining 92.4% in ORR mass activity in alkaline solution with 0.1 mol L −1 methanol, against a big decrease of almost 100% for commercial Pt. Even after 30,000 potential cycles with 1.0 mol L −1 methanol, Rh 4 Pd 40 Ag 56 NPs still retain ORR mass activity of up to 68.3%. DFT calculations reveal that excellent ORR performance with excellent methanol tolerance originates the active d-band-pinning engineering for an efficient site-independent electron-transfer. A generalized d-band mediated fine electron-transfer tuning path has blueprinted for effectively minimizing intrinsic ORR barriers with high current density. The present work highlights the key role of Rh doping in enhancing the ORR activity and methanol tolerance ability of PdAg NPs for future high-performance DMFCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalScience Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • Fuel cells
  • Methanol tolerance
  • Multimetallic
  • Oxygen reduction
  • Rh-doped

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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