Pd-Ni-Cu-P metallic glass nanowires for methanol and ethanol oxidation in alkaline media

Ryan C. Sekol, Marcelo Carmo, Golden Kumar, Forrest Gittleson, Gustavo Doubek, Kai Sun, Jan Schroers, André D. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We demonstrate that Pd43Ni10Cu27P 20 bulk metallic glass (BMG) nanowires, prepared by a facile, scalable top-down nanomolding approach, can be used as high surface area electrocatalysts for alkaline alcohol fuel cell applications. These nanowires exhibit higher activity for methanol and ethanol oxidation in alkaline media compared to pure Pd, quantified by cyclic voltammetry. Furthermore, the Pd-BMG nanowire electrocatalyst has a 300 mV lower onset potential for CO oxidation suggesting improved poisoning resistance beyond pure Pd. The Pd-BMG electrocatalyst activation energies for methanol and ethanol oxidation of 22 and 17 kJ mol-1 are lower than the pure Pd values of 38 and 30 kJ mol-1, respectively. Unique properties of BMGs (homogeneity, viscosity, surface tension) facilitate the formability into high surface area electrocatalysts at low processing temperatures. The high electrical conductivity and chemical/physical stability suggest that these materials are ideal candidates for widespread commercial use including energy conversion/storage, hydrogen production, and sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11248-11255
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number26
StatePublished - Aug 30 2013


  • Alcohol oxidation
  • Alkaline fuel cell
  • Bulk metallic glass
  • Electrocatalysts
  • Nanowires
  • Palladium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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