Accelerating Hydrogen Absorption and Desorption Rates in Palladium Nanocubes with an Ultrathin Surface Modification

Lucy Metzroth, Elisa Miller, Andrew Norman, Sadegh Yazdi, Gerard Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus Citations


Exploiting the high surface-area-to-volume ratio of nanomaterials to store energy in the form of electrochemical alloys is an exceptionally promising route for achieving high-rate energy storage and delivery. Nanoscale palladium hydride is an excellent model system for understanding how nanoscale-specific properties affect the absorption and desorption of energy carrying equivalents. Hydrogen absorption and desorption in shape-controlled Pd nanostructures does not occur uniformly across the entire nanoparticle surface. Instead, hydrogen absorption and desorption proceed selectively through high-activity sites at the corners and edges. Such a mechanism hinders the hydrogen absorption rates and greatly reduces the benefit of nanoscaling the dimensions of the palladium. To solve this, we modify the surface of palladium with an ultrathin platinum shell. This modification nearly removes the barrier for hydrogen absorption (89 kJ/mol without a Pt shell and 1.8 kJ/mol with a Pt shell) and enables diffusion through the entire Pd/Pt surface.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9131-9137
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-80508


  • electrochemistry
  • hydrogen storage
  • nanomaterials
  • palladium
  • palladium hydride


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