Synthesis, characterization and electrochemical studies of novel platinum-based nanomaterials
Platinum (Pt) as well as its alloys represent some of the most efficient catalyst materials among intermetallic compounds and alloys. An important clue throughout this work is the development of a desired synthetic approach of Pt-based nanomaterials--a one-step hydrothermal co-reduction of inorganic metal precursors. Slight modifications in experimental conditions have led to the production of Pt-based nanostructured materials with two distinct morphologies: (i) three-dimensional (3D) nanoporous Pt-M networks (M= Ru, Ir, Pb, Pd) when formaldehyde is used as a reducing agent; and (ii) 3D intermetallic Pt-M nanodendrites (M= Au, Pb, Bi or Pd) when formate ligands are present as multi-functional reagents in the hydrothermal process. Those as-synthesized Pt-based nanoporous catalysts not only possess significantly high surface areas, but also exhibit superb electrocatalytic activities towards the electrochemical oxidation of methanol and formic acid. Among them, the nanoporous PtPb networks were further tested towards the electro-oxidation of glucose. Voltammetric and amperometric results demonstrate that the PtPb electrodes have strong and sensitive current responses to the incremental glucose concentrations, and are capable of sensing glucose with excellent selectivity in neutral media. In the case of synthesizing Pt-based nanodendritic materials, ammonium formate and formic acid were used as multi-functional reagents in the hydrothermal-assisted fabrication of alloyed PtAu and PtPb nanodendrites, respectively. Electrochemical studies reveal that both PtAu and PtPb nanodendrites exhibit exceptionally high electrocatalytic activities in formic acid oxidation owing to their unique alloyed intermetallic crystal structures. The proposed coordination and co-reduction alloying mechanism together with the foreign particle-induced dendritic growth mechanism have been further proved to be universal for fabricating a wide range of intermetallic nanodendrites, including bimetallic Pt-Bi, Pt-Pd, Pd-Ru and trimetallic Pt-Pd-Pb with controllable compositions.