PdCu@Pd Nanocube with Pt-like Activity for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction

Jing Li, Feng Li, Si Xuan Guo, Jie Zhang, Jiantai Ma

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58 Citations (Scopus)


The electronic properties of metal surfaces can be modulated to weaken the binding energy of adsorbed H-intermediates on the catalyst surface, thus enhancing catalytic activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Here we first prepare PdCu alloy nanocubes (NCs) by coreduction of Cu(acac)2 (acac = acetylacetonate) and Na2PdCl4 in the presence of oleylamine (OAm) and trioctylphosphine (TOP). The PdCu NC coated glassy carbon electrode is then anodized at a constant potential of 0.51 V vs Ag/AgCl at room temperature in 0.5 M H2SO4 solution for 10 s, which converts PdCu NCs into core@shell PdCu@Pd NCs that show much enhanced Pt-like activity for the HER and much more robust durability. The improvements in surface property and HER activity are rationalized based on strain and ligand effects that enhance the activity of the edge-exposed Pd atoms on core@shell PdCu@Pd structure. This work opens up a new perspective for simultaneously reducing metal Pd cost and achieving excellent performance toward the HER.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8151-8160
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2017


  • anodization
  • electrocatalysis
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • PdCu@Pd nanocubes
  • Pt-like activity

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