, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 495–504 | Cite as

A Facile and Environmentally Friendly One-Pot Synthesis of Pt Surface-Enriched Pt-Pd(x)/C Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction

  • Yuying Zheng
  • Lei Zhang
  • Peishan He
  • Dai Dang
  • Qing Zeng
  • Jianhuang Zeng
  • Meilin Liu
Original Research


Platinum surface-enriched bimetallic PtPd nanoparticles are synthesized via a facile and eco-friendly approach. Significantly different formation processes of single Pt, Pd, and bimetallic PtPd nanoparticles under various conditions have been monitored by UV-visible spectra. The size of the bimetallic Pt-Pd nanoparticles has been found to be significantly affected by the pH of the starting precursor solutions. Uniform bimetallic Pt-Pd nanoparticles with an average diameter of ~3 nm are formed in the basic solutions; however, the particle size can be as large as 11 nm when synthesized in acidic media. The detailed morphology, composition, and structure of the carbon-supported bimetallic Pt-Pd electrocatalysts have been extensively characterized and correlated with their electrochemical properties as evaluated using cyclic voltammetry and single-cell test. The formation of Pt surface-enriched Pt-Pd bimetallic nanoparticles has been confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and has been interpreted by the exclusively reduced Pt around the newly formed Pd nuclei due to the catalytic action of Pd, which in turn curbs the unfavorable growth of the bimetallic nanoparticles. The electrochemical tests indicate that the optimized Pt-Pd/C with reduced cost exhibits competitive catalytic performance toward oxygen reduction reaction and superior tolerance to methanol over the state-of-the-art Pt/C.

Graphical abstract

A facile and environmentally friendly one-pot synthesis of Pt surface-enriched Pt-Pd(x)/C catalyst for oxygen reduction.


Oxygen reduction Bimetallic Pt-Pd Electrocatalysts Ethylene glycol 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (51572090), Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province (2014A010105041, 2016A010103028, and 2016B010134002), and Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Program (No. 2014ZT05N200).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12678_2018_466_MOESM1_ESM.docx (258 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 257 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical Engineering and Light IndustryGuangdong University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Materials Science and EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Hunan University of Science and TechnologyXiangtanChina
  4. 4.School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Guangdong Key Lab for Fuel Cell TechnologySouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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