Facile fabrication of PtNi alloy nanoparticles supported on reduced graphene oxide as excellent electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction in alkaline environment

  • Zuokai Du
  • Yilong WangEmail author
  • Junsheng Li
  • Jinping LiuEmail author
Research Paper


Development of high-performance electrocatalysts in basic electrolyte is of significance for the decrease in unnecessary energy consumption for production of hydrogen. Herein, we have demonstrated one-step chemical reduction strategy to fabricate platinum–nickel alloy nanoparticle–supported reduced graphene oxide (rGO) as excellent electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in basic condition. Graphene-supported alloy nanocatalysts are achieved by simply controlling the molar ratios of bimetallic precursors. We confirm that nickel species on the surface of as-synthesized nanocatalysts tend to be oxidized as nickel hydroxide during the fabrication. Our nanocatalysts synthesized at the equivalent molar ratios of platinum and nickel salts exhibit much higher electrocatalytic activity for HER than the commercial Pt/C and graphene-supported Pt counterparts in same conditions. The performance improvement is not only attributed to nickel hydroxide layer on our nanocatalysts facilitating the decomposition of water in basic media but also ascribed to the partial replacement of Pt atoms by Ni ones decreasing the Pt–H bond energy and improving desorption of hydrogen atoms on Pt–Ni alloy nanocatalysts. Furthermore, our nanocatalysts present excellent HER catalytic stability. Our results will provide a facile and effective strategy on the development of the excellent Pt-containing composite nanocatalysts for applications in electrocatalysis.

Graphical Abstract


Pt–Ni alloy nanoparticles Reduced graphene oxide Electrocatalysis Hydrogen evolution reaction 



This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51672205), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (WUT: 2018-IB-026), and Open Project of State Key Laboratory of Supramolecular Structure and Materials (sklssm201823).

Authors’ contributions

Zuokai Du performed most experiments and collected and analyzed data in the original manuscript. Yilong Wang and Jinping Liu participated in the design of this work. Junsheng Li is listed as one of coauthors, as he did some experiments and the related characterization of the as-synthesized nanocatalysts for this revised manuscript. Manuscript was written by Yilong Wang, and critically reviewed by Jinping Liu. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2018_4436_MOESM1_ESM.docx (539 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 538 kb)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Life ScienceWuhan University of TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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