Solution synthesis of Cu3PdN nanocrystals as ternary metal nitride electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction

Dimitri D. Vaughn, Jose Araujo, Praveen Meduri, Juan F. Callejas, Michael A. Hickner, Raymond E. Schaak

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50 Scopus citations


The synthesis of transition metal nitride nanoparticles is challenging, in part because the unreactive nature of the most common nitrogen reagents necessitates high-temperature and/or high-pressure reaction conditions. Here we report the solution-phase synthesis and characterization of antiperovskite-type Cu3PdN nanocrystals that are multifaceted, uniform, and highly dispersible as colloidal solutions. Colloidal Cu3PdN nanocrystals were synthesized by reacting copper(II) nitrate and palladium(II) acetylacetonate in 1-octadecene with oleylamine at 240 °C. The Cu3PdN nanocrystals were evaluated as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) under alkaline conditions, where both Cu3N and Pd nanocrystals are known to be active. The ORR activity of the Cu3PdN nanocrystals appears to be superior to that of Cu3N and comparable to that of Pd synthesized using similar methods, but with significantly improved mass activity than Pd control samples. The Cu3PdN nanocrystals also show greater stability than comparably synthesized Pd nanocrystals during repeated cycling under alkaline conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6226-6232
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 11 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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