Available Technology

BSA 12-17: Simple, Ethanol-Driven Synthesis of Core-Shell Nanoparticles

Well-defined core-shell nanoparticles offer high-surface-area catalysts with tunable surface properties. Challenges lie in synthesis and characterization of atomically-ordered core-shell interfaces, which are important for enhancing both activity and stability. This "green" synthesis method uses ethanol - a simple solvent for metal precursors�"as the reductant to produce highly ordered ruthenium-platinum core-shell nanocatalysts with a tunable number of platinum layers.
Patent Abstract: 
The noble-metal nanoparticles may be made using ethanol as the solvent and reductant for fabrication with narrow particle size distributions, and also to coat a thin metal shell on other metal cores. With or without carbon supports, particle size is controlled by fine-tuning the reducing power of ethanol, by adjusting the temperature, and by adding an alkaline solution during synthesis. The thickness of the added or coated metal shell can be varied easily from sub-monolayer to multiple layers in a seed-mediated growth process. The entire synthesis of designed core-shell catalysts can be completed using metal salts as the precursors with more than 98% yield, and substantially no cleaning processes are necessary apart from simple rinsing. Accordingly, this is considered a "green" chemistry method.
Pd and Ru weigh about half as much as Pt and are several-fold less expensive. Developing economically viable synthesis methods to produce well-defined Pd@Pt and Ru@Pt core-shell nanoparticles holds promise for meeting the performance/cost targets for commercializing PEM fuel cells, and for reducing the cost of PEM water electrolyzers.
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