Fully Tensile Strained Pd3Pb/Pd Tetragonal Nanosheets Enhance Oxygen Reduction Catalysis
Chongyang Tang†‡, Nan Zhang‡, Yujin Ji§, Qi Shao†, Youyong Li*§, Xiangheng Xiao‡, and Xiaoqing Huang*†
†College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China
‡Department of Physics and Key Laboratory of Artificial Micro- and Nano-structures of Ministry of Education, Hubei Nuclear Solid Physics Key Laboratory, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
§Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials and Devices, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China
Nano Lett., 2019, 19 (2), 1336--1342
While surface strain engineering in shaped and bimetallic nanostructures offers additional variables for manoeuvring the catalysis, manipulating isotropic strain distributions in nanostructures remains a great challenge to reach higher tiers of the catalyst’s design. Herein, we report an efficient approach to construct a unique class of core/shell palladium–lead (Pd–Pb)/Pd nanosheets (NSs) and nanocubes (NCs) with homogeneous tensile strain along  on both the top-Pd and edge-Pd surfaces for boosting oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). These core/shell Pd–Pb/Pd NSs and Pd–Pb/Pd NCs exhibit over 160% and 140% increases in mass activity and over 114% and 98% increases in specific activity when compared with these unshelled counterparts, respectively. Especially, the Pd3Pb/Pd NSs show the ORR mass and specific activities of 0.57 A/mgPd and 1.31 mA/cm2 at 0.90 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode, which are 8.8 (6.5) and 9.4 (9.8) times higher than those of the commercial Pd/C (Pt/C), respectively. The valence band photoemission spectra and first-principles calculations collectively show that the tensile strained Pd shell results in an upshift of the d-band-center of Pd, weakening the chemisorption of oxygenated species due to the contribution of the antibonding orbital. In addition, the Pd3Pb/Pd NSs and NCs with intermetallic core and homogeneous few layers of Pd shell can sustain at least 20 000 potential cycles with negligible activity decay and composition changes. The present work provides a new direction for the design of highly active and stable catalysts for fuel cells and beyond.