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Design of Ru-Ni diatomic sites for efficient alkaline hydrogen oxidation


Anion exchange membrane fuel cells are limited by the slow kinetics of alkaline hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR). Here, we establish HOR catalytic activities of single-atom and diatomic sites as a function of *H and *OH binding energies to screen the optimal active sites for the HOR. As a result, the Ru-Ni diatomic one is identified as the best active center. Guided by the theoretical finding, we subsequently synthesize a catalyst with Ru-Ni diatomic sites supported on N-doped porous carbon, which exhibits excellent catalytic activity, CO tolerance, and stability for alkaline HOR and is also superior to single-site counterparts. In situ scanning electrochemical microscopy study validates the HOR activity resulting from the Ru-Ni diatomic sites. Furthermore, in situ x-ray absorption spectroscopy and computational studies unveil a synergistic interaction between Ru and Ni to promote the molecular H2 dissociation and strengthen OH adsorption at the diatomic sites, and thus enhance the kinetics of HOR.

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