Corresponding Author

Shaowei Chen(shaowei@ucsc.edu)


Palladium nanostructures were deposited onto carbon nanoparticle surface by a chemical reduction method. Transmission electron microscopic studies showed that whereas the resulting metal-carbon (Pd-CNP) nanocomposites exhibited a diameter of 20 to 30 nm, the metal components actually showed a cauliflower-like surface morphology that consisted of numerous smaller Pd nanoparticles (3 to 8 nm). Electrochemical studies showed that the effective surface area of the Pd-CNP nanoparticles was about 40% less than that of Pd black, possibly because the Pd nanoparticles were coated with a layer of carbon nanoparticles; yet, the Pd-CNP nanocomposites exhibited marked enhancement of the electrocatalytic activity in formic acid oxidation, as compared to that of Pd black. In fact, the mass- and surface-specific activities of the former were about three times higher than those of the latter. This improvement was likely a result of the enhanced accessibility of the Pd catalyst surface and the formation of abundant active sites of Pd on the carbon nanoparticle surface due to the hierarchical structure of the metal nanocatalysts.

Graphical Abstract


palladium nanostructure, carbon nanoparticles, formic acid oxidation, fuel cell

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