Hollow ternary PtPdCu nanoparticles : a superior and durable cathodic electrocatalyst
Hollow alloyed nanoparticles (NPs) represent one kind of promising fuel cell electrocatalyst. However, the formation of single-cavity hollow structures by a dealloying process is quite challenging owing to the random leaching/dissolution of transition metals, surface passivation and the limited diffusion distance of the noble metals. Here we present a facile method to prepare hollow PtPdCu NPs derived from monodisperse alloy NPs by an acetic acid-assisted dealloying process. Here, acetic acid not only acts as a chemical etching agent but also plays an important role in the removal of the residual surfactants for colloidal NPs. Our findings rectify the current knowledge that hollow alloyed NPs cannot be prepared by a dealloying strategy and provide further understanding of the dealloying process in a ternary system. Such unique hollow ternary PtPdCu NPs exhibit outstanding durability and improved catalytic activity toward the oxygen reduction reaction.