Research Article

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2016, 9(12): 3893–3902

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-016-1258-8

Unexpected catalytic activity of rhodium nanodendrites with nanosheet subunits for methanol electrooxidation in an alkaline medium

Yongqiang Kang1,§, Fumin Li2,§, Shuni Li2, Pujun Jin1 (*), Jinhui Zeng1, Jiaxing Jiang1, and Yu Chen1 (*)

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1 Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Science of Shaanxi Province, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China
2 School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China
§ These authors contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: rhodium, nanodendrites, fuel cells, methanol electrooxidation, electrocatalysis
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ABSTRACT Nanocrystals of Rh, an important member of the noble metal catalyst family, have wide applications in heterogeneous catalytic reactions. Controlling the morphology of these noble metal nanocrystals has become an effective strategy for improving their catalytic activity and durability. In this work, well-defined Rh nanodendrites with very thin triangular branches as subunits are synthesized using a facile diethylene glycol reduction method, assisted by polyethyleneimine as a complex-forming agent and surfactant. For the first time, the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) on Rh nanocrystals with a well-defined morphology is investigated using various electrochemical techniques in an alkaline medium. Unexpectedly, the as-prepared Rh nanodendrites, with ultrathin nanosheet subunits, exhibit superior electrocatalytic activity and durability during the MOR in an alkaline medium, indicating that Rh nanocrystals with specific morphology may be highly promising alternatives to Pt electrocatalysts in the MOR in an alkaline medium.
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Unexpected catalytic activity of rhodium nanodendrites with nanosheet subunits for methanol electrooxidation in an alkaline medium. Nano Res. 2016, 9(12): 3893–3902 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-016-1258-8

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