Catalytic performance of M@Ni (M = Fe, Ru, Ir) core−shell nanoparticles towards ammonia decomposition for COx-free hydrogen production

  • Xin Chen
  • Junwei Zhou
  • Shuangjing Chen
  • Hui Zhang
Research Paper


To reduce the use of precious metals and maintain the catalytic activity for NH3 decomposition reaction, it is an effective way to construct bimetallic nanoparticles with special structures. In this paper, by using density functional theory methods, we investigated NH3 decomposition reaction on three types of core−shell nanoparticles M@Ni (M = Fe, Ru, Ir) with 13 core M atoms and 42 shell Ni atoms. The size of these three particles is about 1 nm. Benefit from alloying with Ru in this nanocluster, Ru@Ni core−shell nanoparticles exhibit catalytic activity comparable to that of single metal Ru, based on the analysis of the adsorption energy and potential energy diagram of NH3 decomposition, as well as N2 desorption processes. However, as for Fe@Ni and Ir@Ni core−shell nanoparticles, their catalytic activities are still unsatisfactory compared to the active metal Ru. In addition, in order to further explain the synergistic effect of bimetallic core−shell nanoparticles, the partial density of states were also calculated. The results show that d-band electrons provided by the core metal are the main factors affecting the entire catalytic process.


Ru@Ni Core−shell nanoparticle NH3 decomposition DFT Modeling and simulation Nanostructured catalysts 



We acknowledge the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen for providing the computational resources and materials studio (version 7.0, DMol3 module).


This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51602270) and Youth Science and Technology Innovation Team of SWPU (No. 2017CXTD05).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Center of New Energy Materials and Technology, College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouthwest Petroleum UniversityChengduChina

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