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Multimetallic Electrocatalysts

We are investigating the synthesis and characterization of novel bimetallic nanocluster electrocatalysts and single crystal models to elucidate and validate calculations of surface processes and catalysis on these complex materials. In addition to the vital importance of improving fuel cell electrocatalysts as an important component of addressing the enormous energy challenges facing the U.S. and the world, this research is motivated by the recent discovery by Adzic and coworkers at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) that Pd-Co, Ni, or Fe alloy nanoparticles demonstrate unprecedented properties as electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction and are excellent supports for Pt monolayers, dramatically reducing the amount of Pt needed in practical fuel cells. In order to provide a sound foundation for development of new catalysts based on this discovery, there is a critical need to fully characterize the surface composition and structure of these materials to understand the origin of their properties, develop more versatile methods to controllably and selectively form and deposit such bimetallic nanoclusters, and subsequently modify or control their chemical and electronic properties to attain even higher performance.