Silver-based nanoalloys owing to their cost, performance and stability are an attractive electrocatalyst system for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in the alkaline fuel cells and metal air batteries. A systematic computational and experimental approach has been adopted to investigate their performance for ORR in alkaline environment. Firstly, genetic algorithm (GA) based calculations have been performed to look for the stable compositions and structures of these nanoalloys. Later, density functional theory (DFT) is employed to simulate the working of those stable nanoalloys in actual working conditions. Finally, the most promising nanoalloys have been synthesized by physical and chemical routes to confirm their performance in real-life conditions. It has been found that the alloying of silver with copper enhances the catalytic performance of Ag nanoparticles. The enhancement in performance can be related to the modification of the electronic and physical structure of Ag due to copper doping. The superior performance of Ag–Cu nanocatalysts in alkaline fuel cells and metal air batteries along with their modest cost and long-term stability make them a promising candidate for deployment as a catalyst for ORR in alkaline media.
Part of the book: Advanced Catalytic Materials