Open Access Nano Express

Au/Pd core-shell nanoparticles with varied hollow Au cores for enhanced formic acid oxidation

Chiajen Hsu, Chienwen Huang, Yaowu Hao and Fuqiang Liu*

Author Affiliations

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, 501 West First Street, Room 231, Engineering Laboratory Building, Arlington, TX 76019, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:113  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-113

Published: 1 March 2013


A facile method has been developed to synthesize Au/Pd core-shell nanoparticles via galvanic replacement of Cu by Pd on hollow Au nanospheres. The unique nanoparticles were characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, and electrochemical measurements. When the concentration of the Au solution was decreased, grain size of the polycrystalline hollow Au nanospheres was reduced, and the structures became highly porous. After the Pd shell formed on these Au nanospheres, the morphology and structure of the Au/Pd nanoparticles varied and hence significantly affected the catalytic properties. The Au/Pd nanoparticles synthesized with reduced Au concentrations showed higher formic acid oxidation activity (0.93 mA cm-2 at 0.3 V) than the commercial Pd black (0.85 mA cm-2 at 0.3 V), suggesting a promising candidate as fuel cell catalysts. In addition, the Au/Pd nanoparticles displayed lower CO-stripping potential, improved stability, and higher durability compared to the Pd black due to their unique core-shell structures tuned by Au core morphologies.

Electrochemistry; Activity; AuPd; Formic acid oxidation; Core-shell; Fuel cell