The crystal structure, which intrinsically affects the properties of solids, is determined by the constituent elements and composition of solids. Therefore, it cannot be easily controlled beyond the phase diagram because of thermodynamic limitations. Here, we demonstrate the first example of controlling the crystal structures of a solid-solution nanoparticle (NP) entirely without changing its composition and size. We synthesized face-centered cubic (fcc) or hexagonal close-packed (hcp) structured PdxRu1-x NPs (x = 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6), although they cannot be synthesized as bulk materials. Crystal-structure control greatly improves the catalytic properties; that is, the hcp-PdxRu1-x NPs exceed their fcc counterparts toward the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in corrosive acid. These NPs only require an overpotential (η) of 200 mV at 10 mA cm-2, can maintain the activity for more than 20 h, greatly outperforming the fcc-Pd0.4Ru0.6 NPs (η = 280 mV, 9 min), and are among the most efficient OER catalysts reported. Synchrotron X-ray-based spectroscopy, atomic-resolution electron microscopy, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest that the enhanced OER performance of hcp-PdRu originates from the high stability against oxidative dissolution.
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