Morphological control of carbon-supported Pt-based nanoparticles via one-step synthesis

Tatsuichiro Nakamoto, Ryohei Seki, Ken ichi Motomiya, Shun Yokoyama, Kazuyuki Tohji, Hideyuki Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The morphology of Pt-based nanoparticles supported on carbon is controlled to enhance the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalytic performance. Herein a simple one-step method without a polymer surfactant is demonstrated to synthesize Pt-Cu nanoclusters, Pt-Cu nanospheres, and Cu-doped Pt nanoplates. Metal precursors are reduced by sodium tetrahydroborate in a NaCl or NH4Cl aqueous solution containing carbon supports, and nanoparticles are directly deposited on carbon. Cl ions generated from NaCl or NH4Cl delay the reduction of metal ions when O2 is dissolved in the synthesis solution, leading to larger particles. In addition, NH4 + ions guide the growth direction of Pt to form a plate-like morphology that exposes the {111} facets. However, stable amine complex lowers the Cu content in the nanoplates. Nanoclusters and nanospheres are obtained in the absence of Cl/O2 and NH4 +, respectively. Half-cell measurements are performed in acidic media to evaluate the electrochemical properties. Cu-doped Pt nanoplates exhibit a 3.67-times higher ORR catalytic activity than the commercial Pt catalysts thanks to the synergistic effect with a small amount of Cu and selective exposure of the {111} facets. The result suggests that transition metals in Pt-based electrocatalysts may be unnecessary to form intermetallic alloyed crystals for the enhanced ORR performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100443
JournalNano-Structures and Nano-Objects
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr


  • Carbon-supported nanoparticles
  • Nanoplates
  • One-step synthesis
  • Oxygen reduction reaction
  • Pt-based electrocatalysts


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