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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dual-Site Cascade Oxygen Reduction Mechanism on SnO x/Pt-Cu-Ni for Promoting Reaction Kinetics.

  • Author(s): Shen, Xiaochen
  • Nagai, Tomoyuki
  • Yang, Feipeng
  • Zhou, Li Qin
  • Pan, Yanbo
  • Yao, Libo
  • Wu, Dezhen
  • Liu, Yi-Sheng
  • Feng, Jun
  • Guo, Jinghua
  • Jia, Hongfei
  • Peng, Zhenmeng
  • et al.

Designing highly active oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts is crucial to boost the fuel cell economy. Previous research has mainly focused on Pt-based alloy catalysts in which surface Pt is the solely active site and the activity improvement was challenged by the discovered scaling relationship. Herein we report a new concept of utilizing dual active sites for the ORR and demonstrate its effectiveness by synthesizing a SnO x/Pt-Cu-Ni heterojunctioned catalyst. A maximum of 40% enhancement in the apparent specific activity, which corresponds to 10-fold enhancement on interface sites, is measured compared with pure Pt-Cu-Ni. Detailed investigations suggest an altered dual-site cascade mechanism wherein the first two steps occur on SnO x sites and the remaining steps occur on adjacent Pt sites, allowing a significant decrease in the energy barrier. This study with the suggested dual-site cascade mechanism shows the potential to overcome the ORR energy barrier bottleneck to develop highly active catalysts.

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