Platinum-Coated Nickel Nanowires as Oxygen-Reducing Electrocatalysts

Shaun M. Alia, Brian A. Larsen, Svitlana Pylypenko, David A. Cullen, David R. Diercks, K. C. Neyerlin, Shyam S. Kocha, Bryan S. Pivovar

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85 Scopus Citations


Platinum (Pt)-coated nickel (Ni) nanowires (PtNiNWs) are synthesized by the partial spontaneous galvanic displacement of NiNWs, with a diameter of 150-250 nm and a length of 100-200 μm. PtNiNWs are electrochemically characterized for oxygen reduction (ORR) in rotating disk electrode half-cells with an acidic electrolyte and compared to carbon-supported Pt (Pt/HSC) and a polycrystalline Pt electrode. Like other extended surface catalysts, the nanowire morphology yields significant gains in ORR specific activity compared to Pt/HSC. Unlike other extended surface approaches, the resultant materials have yielded exceptionally high surface areas, greater than 90 m2 g Pt-1. These studies have found that reducing the level of Pt displacement increases Pt surface area and ORR mass activity. PtNiNWs produce a peak mass activity of 917 mA mgPt-1, 3.0 times greater than Pt/HSC and 2.1 times greater than the U.S. Department of Energy target for proton-exchange membrane fuel cell activity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1114-1119
Number of pages6
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Apr 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-60666


  • electrocatalysis
  • electrochemistry
  • fuel cells
  • galvanic displacement
  • oxygen reduction reaction


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