Formation Mechanism of Epitaxial Palladium–Platinum Core–Shell Nanocatalysts in a One-Step Supercritical Synthesis

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The scarcity of platinum group metals provides a strong incentive to optimize the catalytic activity and stability, e.g., through nanoalloys or core–shell nanoparticles. Here, time-resolved X-ray total scattering and transmission electron microscopy characterization are used to study the formation of palladium–platinum core–shell nanoparticles under solvothermal conditions. It is shown that Pd rapidly forms small (5–10 nm), disordered primary particles, which agglomerate and crystallize when reaching 20–25 nm. The primary Pd particles provide nucleation sites for Pt, and, with extended reaction time, the Pd cores become fully covered with Pt shells. The observed core–shell material is surprising when considering the Pt–Pd phase diagram and relative surface energies, but it can be rationalized through the kinetics of precursor conversion. To bridge the gap between scientific studies and industrial demand for large-scale production, the synthesis process is successfully transferred to a continuous flow supercritical reactor providing a simple scalable and green process for production of bimetallic nanocatalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1902214
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

    Research areas

  • core–shell nanoparticles, in situ pair distribution function, nucleation and growth, platinum–palladium nanocatalyst, supercritical synthesis

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