Behavior of gold-enhanced electrocatalytic performance of NiPtAu hollow nanocrystals for alkaline methanol oxidation

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  • ReceivedMar 3, 2020
  • AcceptedJul 8, 2020
  • PublishedAug 25, 2020


Funded by

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51571151,51701139,51671143,U1601216)

and it is especially grateful for the support from the National Supercomputer Center in Lvliang

China. The calculations in this work were carried out using the supercomputer system



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91963113, 51701139, 51671143 and U1601216), and we are especially grateful for the support from the National Supercomputer Center in Lvliang, China. The calculations in this work were carried out using the supercomputer system, TianHe-2.

Interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Contributions statement

Chen Y and Deng Y guided the whole project. Liu C designed and performed the experiments. Rao D performed the DFT calculations. All authors contributed to analyses and discussion of the results.

Author information

Chang Liu is a PhD candidate at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin University. Her research interests focus on the design and synthesis of nanocatalysts for electrocatalytic application in fuel cells.

Yida Deng is a professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin University. He received his PhD degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2006. His research interests include metal and metal oxide nanostructures for electrochemical and energy applications.

Yanan Chen is a professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin University. He received his joint PhD degree from the University of Science and Technology Beijing/University of Maryland in 2017. He was an advanced innovative fellow at Tsinghua University before joining in Tianjin University. His research mainly focuses on nanomaterials, devices, and systems for advanced energy storage and conversion, including nanomaterials synthesis & nanomanufacturing, emerging energy storage Li-ion and beyond, catalysis, and Cryo-EM.


Supporting Information

The experimental details, particle diameters, morphologies, compositions, and phases of obtained samples; electrochemical performances and XPS spectra of contrast samples; CA curves; summary of MOR performance from the literature are available in the online version of the paper.


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  • Figure 1

    Schematic diagram of the synthetic route of NiPtAu-SRAu and NiPtAu-SPAu HNCs. Two trimetallic NiPtAu HNCs with different surface compositions and structures prepared by the diagrammatic process have different resistance to CO, one of the MOR intermediate products.

  • Figure 2

    (a, c) TEM images, (b, d) HRTEM images of NiPtAu-SPAu and NiPtAu-SRAu HNCs, respectively. (b1–b4) and (d1–d4) correspond to the marked areas in (b) and (d) encoded sequentially with 1 to 4 (scale bars: 1 nm). Yellow and white boxes represent the lattice fringes of Au and Pt, respectively. (e–h) EDS elemental mapping images of NiPtAu-SRAu HNCs.

  • Figure 3

    CV curves of NiPtAu-SRAu, NiPtAu-SPAu, NiPt HNCs, and Pt/C in N2-saturated (a) 1 mol L−1 KOH and (b) 1 mol L−1 KOH + 1 mol L−1 CH3OH at a scan rate of 50 mV s−1. (c) Blow-ups of (b) from −0.8 to −0.3 V. (d) Summary of specific activities and mass activities. (e) CA curves recorded at −0.3 V. (f) EIS measurements in 1 mol L−1 KOH + 1 mol L−1 CH3OH at the potential of −0.3 V.

  • Figure 4

    XPS spectra of (a, d) Pt 4f, (b, e) Ni 2p, (c, f) Au 4f peaks of NiPtAu-SRAu and NiPtAu-SPAu HNCs, respectively.

  • Figure 5

    (a–c) CO-stripping curves of NiPtAu-SRAu, NiPtAu-SPAu, and NiPt HNCs in 1 mol L−1 KOH solution at a scan rate of 50 mV s−1. (d–f) CA curves of the NiPtAu-SRAu, NiPtAu-SPAu, and NiPt HNCs recorded at −0.4 V in 1 mol L−1 KOH + 1 mol L−1 CH3OH with and without CO gas during the tests. (g) DFT calculations about the Eads of CO on Ni, Pt, and Au.