Sub-5 nm Pd–Ru Nanoparticle Alloys as Efficient Catalysts for Formic Acid Electrooxidation

Authors

  • Dongshuang Wu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Structural Chemistry, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Science, 155 Yangqiao West Road Fuzhou Fujian 350002 (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 591-83714946
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dr. Minna Cao,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Structural Chemistry, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Science, 155 Yangqiao West Road Fuzhou Fujian 350002 (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 591-83714946
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Min Shen,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Structural Chemistry, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Science, 155 Yangqiao West Road Fuzhou Fujian 350002 (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 591-83714946
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Prof. Rong Cao

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Structural Chemistry, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Science, 155 Yangqiao West Road Fuzhou Fujian 350002 (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 591-83714946
    • State Key Laboratory of Structural Chemistry, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Science, 155 Yangqiao West Road Fuzhou Fujian 350002 (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 591-83714946===

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Both Pd and Ru are important elements in electrochemistry. However, Pd–Ru nanoparticle (NP) alloys are rarely reported so far, owing to the limitations described by Hume-Rothery. Herein, we successfully synthesized Pd–Ru NP alloys over the whole composition range using a facile atomic-diffusion-based strategy, and we carefully investigated the corresponding formation mechanism. For the first time, we confined the size of all alloy NPs at 3–5 nm, which is favorable in direct formic acid fuel cells. Experimental data indicate that the core-level binding energy of Pd positively shifts as a result of electron transfer from Pd to Ru. Such an electronic effect can effectively tune the adsorption intensity of reactive molecules during electrocatalysis. Driven by all these effects, these Pd–Ru alloys are highly active and stable towards formic acid oxidation. Composition–activity study further indicates that Pd60Ru40 exhibits the best mass activity, which is 4.1 times higher than that of commercial Pd/C.

Ancillary