Junrui Li, a fourth-year graduate student in that lab of Prof. Shouheng Sun, has been recognized with the 2018 Metalor Technologies Student Award. In addition to a monetary prize, recipients of this competitive IPMI award present their work at the annual IPMI conference, held June 9 – 12, 2018 in San Antonio, TX. This award is presented to one graduate student annually whose research focuses on the precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, iridium, rhodium, or ruthenium.
Junrui’s project focuses on developing Pt-, Pd-, and Au-based alloys as catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxidation of methanol/ethanol for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.
Junrui writes: “These alloy catalysts can achieve high initial activity, but lack the necessary stability to replace the current commercial Pt catalysts for fuel cell uses. I took over this challenging project and started to design the structure of the alloy particles with stability in mind. I noticed that a thin densely packed Pt layer over an intermetallic FePt alloy structure was essential to stabilize Pt shell for ORR catalysis.”
Results were published in an article titled “Fe Stabilization by Intermetallic L1(0)-FePt and Pt Catalysis Enhancement in L1(0)-FePt/Pt Nanoparticles for Efficient Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Fuel Cells” in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b12829