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The electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is one of the most promising green methods for the efficient production of renewable and sustainable H2, for which platinum possesses the highest catalytic activity. Cost-effective alternatives can be obtained by reducing the Pt amount and still preserving its activity. The Pt nanoparticle decoration of suitable current collectors can be effectively realized by using transition metal oxide (TMO) nanostructures. Among them, WO3 nanorods are the most eligible option, thanks to their high stability in acidic environments, and large availability. Herein, a simple and affordable hydrothermal route is used for the synthesis of hexagonal WO3 nanorods (average length and diameter of 400 and 50 nm, respectively), whose crystal structure is modified after annealing at 400 °C for 60 min, to obtain a mixed hexagonal/monoclinic crystal structure. These nanostructures were investigated as support for the ultra-low-Pt nanoparticles (0.2–1.13 μg/cm2): decoration occurs by drop casting some drops of a Pt nanoparticle aqueous solution and the electrodes were tested for the HER in acidic environment. Pt-decorated WO3 nanorods were characterized by performing scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and chronopotentiometry. HER catalytic activity is studied as a function of the total Pt nanoparticle loading, thus obtaining an outstanding overpotential of 32 mV at 10 mA/cm2, a Tafel slope of 31 mV/dec, a turn-over frequency of 5 Hz at −15 mV, and a …
Publication date: 
16 Mar 2023

Giacometta Mineo, Luca Bruno, Elena Bruno, Salvo Mirabella

Biblio References: 
Volume: 13 Issue: 6 Pages: 1071