Oleylamine aging of ptni nanoparticles giving enhanced functionality for the oxygen reduction reaction

Gerard M. Leteba, Yi-Chi Wang, Thomas J. A. Slater, Rongsheng Cai, Conor Byrne, Christopher P. Race, David R. G. Mitchell, Pieter B. J. Levecque, Neil P. Young, Stuart M. Holmes, Alex Walton, Angus I. Kirkland, Sarah J. Haigh*, Candace I. Lang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
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We report a rapid solution-phase strategy to synthesize alloyed PtNi nanoparticles which demonstrate outstanding functionality for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). This one-pot coreduction colloidal synthesis results in a monodisperse population of single-crystal nanoparticles of rhombic dodecahedral morphology with Pt-enriched edges and compositions close to Pt1Ni2. We use nanoscale 3D compositional analysis to reveal for the first time that oleylamine (OAm)-aging of the rhombic dodecahedral Pt1Ni2 particles results in Ni leaching from surface facets, producing aged particles with concave faceting, an exceptionally high surface area, and a composition of Pt2Ni1. We show that the modified atomic nanostructures catalytically outperform the original PtNi rhombic dodecahedral particles by more than two-fold and also yield improved cycling durability. Their functionality for the ORR far exceeds commercially available Pt/C nanoparticle electrocatalysts, both in terms of mass-specific activities (up to a 25-fold increase) and intrinsic area-specific activities (up to a 27-fold increase).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3989–3996
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • ORR
  • electrocatalyst
  • nanoparticle
  • electron tomography


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