Seeded growth of catalytically active copper-based nanostructures

by Chen, Jingyi

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Seeded growth is a robust approach to synthesize bimetallic and multi-metal nanostructures. Different configurations of nanostructures could be controlled by the geometry of the seeds and the growth rate of the secondary components. While numerous studies have shown the success in tailoring the morphol. of bimetallic noble metals using the seed-mediated method, applications of this method involving 3d transition metals are limited. In this talk, seeded growth of copper-based nanostructures will be presented involving both the use of noble metal and copper nanoparticles as seeds. By tuning the reaction rate, the deposition of the second metals could site-selectively occur on specific facets of the seeds. In addn., the diffusion rate of the dissimilar metals increases with increased temp., thereby dictating the conversion between core-shell/heterostructures and alloy/intermetallics. In situ heating and cooling electron microscopy study on individual nanostructures will also be discussed. These copper-based nanostructures are catalytically active for methanol electro-oxidn. A comparison study of structure and compn. effects on the electrocatalytic activities will also be presented. The electron coupling effects on the oxidn. states of the different components in the copper-based nanostructures will be discussed to provide some guideline for rational design of next-generation electrocatalysts.