"Direct and continuous strain control of catalysts with tunable battery electrode materials"

Haotian Wang: Shicheng Xu, Charlie Tsai, Yuzhang Li, Chong Liu, Jie Zhao, Yayuan Liu, Hongyuan Yuan, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Fritz B. Prinz, Jens K. Nørskov, Yi Cui; Science , 11/25/16.

Additional Authors: Shicheng Xu, Charlie Tsai, Yuzhang Li, Chong Liu, Jie Zhao, Yayuan Liu, Hongyuan Yuan, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Fritz B. Prinz, Jens K. Nørskov, Yi Cui

Abstract:

We report a method for using battery electrode materials to directly and continuously control the lattice strain of platinum (Pt) catalyst and thus tune its catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Whereas the common approach of using metal overlayers introduces ligand effects in addition to strain, by electrochemically switching between the charging and discharging status of battery electrodes the change in volume can be precisely controlled to induce either compressive or tensile strain on supported catalysts. Lattice compression and tension induced by the lithium cobalt oxide substrate of ~5% were directly observed in individual Pt nanoparticles with aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy. We observed 90% enhancement or 40% suppression in Pt ORR activity under compression or tension, respectively, which is consistent with theoretical predictions.