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  1. Abstract Among the multi-metallic nanocatalysts, Pt-based alloy nanocrystals (NCs) have demonstrated promising performance in fuel cells and water electrolyzers. Herein, we demonstrate a facile colloidal synthesis of monodisperse trimetallic Pt–Fe–Ni alloy NCs through a co-reduction of metal precursors. The as-synthesized ternary NCs exhibit superior mass and specific activities toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), which are ∼2.8 and 5.6 times as high as those of the benchmark Pt/C catalyst, respectively. The ORR activity of the carbon-supported Pt–Fe–Ni nanocatalyst is persistently retained after the durability test. Owing to the incorporation of Fe and Ni atoms into the Pt lattice, the as-prepared trimetallic Pt-alloy electrocatalyst also manifestly enhances the electrochemical activity and durability toward the oxygen evolution reaction with a reduced overpotential when compared with that of the benchmark Pt/C (△ η = 0.20 V, at 10 mA cm −2 ). This synthetic strategy paves the way for improving the reactivity for a broad range of electrocatalytic applications.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 2, 2023
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  5. Despite the well-known tendency for many alloys to undergo ordering transformations, the microscopic mechanism of ordering and its dependence on alloy composition remains largely unknown. Using the example of Pt 85 Fe 15 and Pt 65 Fe 35 alloy nanoparticles (NPs), herein we demonstrate the composition-dependent ordering processes on the single-particle level, where the nanoscale size effect allows for close interplay between surface and bulk in controlling the phase evolution. Using in situ electron microscopy observations, we show that the ordering transformation in Pt 85 Fe 15 NPs during vacuum annealing occurs via the surface nucleation and growth of L1 2 -ordered Pt 3 Fe domains that propagate into the bulk, followed by the self-sacrifice transformation of the surface region of the L1 2 Pt 3 Fe into a Pt skin. By contrast, the ordering in Pt 65 Fe 35 NPs proceeds via an interface mechanism by which the rapid formation of an L1 0 PtFe skin occurs on the NPs and the transformation boundary moves inward along with outward Pt diffusion. Although both the “nucleation and growth” and the “interface” mechanisms result in a core–shell configuration with a thin Pt-rich skin, Pt 85 Fe 15 NPs have an L1more »2 Pt 3 Fe core, whereas Pt 65 Fe 35 NPs are composed of an L1 0 PtFe core. Using atomistic modeling, we identify the composition-dependent vacancy-assisted counterdiffusion of Pt and Fe atoms between the surface and core regions in controlling the ordering transformation pathway. This vacancy-assisted diffusion is further demonstrated by oxygen annealing, for which the selective oxidation of Fe results in a large number of Fe vacancies and thereby greatly accelerates the transformation kinetics.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 5, 2023
  6. Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a migratory, transient, and multipotent stem cell population essential to vertebrate embryonic development, contributing to numerous cell lineages in the adult organism. While great strides have been made in elucidating molecular and cellular events that drive NCC specification, comprehensive knowledge of the genetic factors that orchestrate NCC developmental programs is still far from complete. We discovered that elevated Hoxb5b levels promoted an expansion of zebrafish NCCs, which persisted throughout multiple stages of development. Correspondingly, elevated Hoxb5b also specifically expanded expression domains of the vagal NCC markers foxd3 and phox2bb . Increases in NCCs were most apparent after pulsed ectopic Hoxb5b expression at early developmental stages, rather than later during differentiation stages, as determined using a novel transgenic zebrafish line. The increase in vagal NCCs early in development led to supernumerary Phox2b + enteric neural progenitors, while leaving many other NCC-derived tissues without an overt phenotype. Surprisingly, these NCC-derived enteric progenitors failed to expand properly into sufficient quantities of enterically fated neurons and stalled in the gut tissue. These results suggest that while Hoxb5b participates in vagal NCC development as a driver of progenitor expansion, the supernumerary, ectopically localized NCC fail to initiate expansion programs inmore »timely fashion in the gut. All together, these data point to a model in which Hoxb5b regulates NCCs both in a tissue specific and temporally restricted manner.« less