Corresponding Author

Mei-qin SHI(smq@zjut.edu.cn)


Tungsten carbide (WC) is a promising electrocatalyst, however, its electrocatalytic activity is far inferior to Pt and Pt-group metal. In this work, nitrogen-doping tungsten carbide (WN|WC) catalysts with a nanoplate morphology were prepared via the tungsten nitride (WN) as the precursor and sodium tungstate as the tungsten source. The SEM and TEM results indicated that carbon atoms entered into the WN lattice to form the hexagonal close packed WC phase. In this way, an atomic scale heterostructure involving the closely linked interfaces between WN and WC was created . The XRD data confirmed that the cubic crystal structure of WN was still reserved after carbonization. The XPS analyses also verified the existences of W-N and W-C. In order to discuss the effect of nitrogen doping on the catalytic performance of WN|WC, Pt/WN|WC catalyst was prepared by ethylene glycol reduction with microwave-assisted heating method. The electrochemical properties of Pt/WN|WC catalyst in methanol oxidation reaction were evaluated and compared with those of pure WC and commercial Pt/C catalysts. Electrochemical tests demonstrated that the peak current density of Pt/WN|WC was three times as that of commercial Pt/C. In addition, the excellent exchange current density, rate constant and the stable Epf and Epb values suggested that the nanoplate Pt/WN|WC has a promising application as an anode material for direct methanol fuel cells.

Graphical Abstract


tungsten carbide, trogen-doping, heterostructure, change current density, rate constant

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