Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Small Structures


Article in Press




Platinum is known as the best catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) but the scarcity and high cost of Pt limit its widespread applicability. Herein, the role of the underlying substrate on the HER activity of dispersed Pt atoms is uncovered. A direct current magnetron sputtering technique is utilized to deposit transition metal (TM) thin films of W, Ti, and Ta as underlying substrates for extremely low loading of Pt (<1.5 at%). The electrocatalytic performance of as-synthesized samples for the HER is examined in both alkali and acidic media. The results show that despite the low loading of Pt, the Pt/TM catalysts produce hydrogen at a rate comparable to that of pristine bulk Pt. Pt/TM catalysts also display good stability with less than 5% decay in performance after 10 h of continuous HER operation. Based on the computational study, the excellent performance is attributed to the modified electronic properties of the Pt atoms, offering ideal binding energy for HER due to interaction with the underlying substrates. This work provides a robust and industry-friendly route toward designing efficient catalytic systems for important electrochemical reactions such as HER and others.


© 2024 The Authors.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Data Availability

Article states: "The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request."

Original Publication Citation

Muchharla, B., Sushko, P. V., Sadasivuni, K. K., Cao, W., Tomar, A., Elsayed-Ali, H., Adedeji, A., Karoui, A., Spurgeon, J. M., & Kumar, B. (2023). Underlying substrate effect on electrochemical activity for hydrogen evolution reaction with low-platinum-loaded catalysts. Small Structures. Advance online publication.


0000-0002-1329-5018 (Ali)