A general synthesis approach for supported bimetallic nanoparticles via surface inorganometallic chemistry

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Science  02 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6414, pp. 560-564
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau4414

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More alloying on silica

Controlling the stoichiometry and achieving a high degree of alloying of metals at ultrasmall scales for catalysis can be difficult. Double complex salts, formed by a cation like Pd(NH3)42+ and an anion like IrCl62−, should be excellent precursors but are poorly soluble and difficult to adsorb directly on metal oxide surfaces. Ding et al. show that sequentially adsorbing the cations and anions from organic solvents onto a silica surface, followed by heating in hydrogen, creates well-mixed nanoparticles, most less than 3 nanometers in diameter, for a variety of alloys. These materials were then tested as catalysts for acetylene hydrogenation to ethylene.

Science, this issue p. 560


The synthesis of ultrasmall supported bimetallic nanoparticles (between 1 and 3 nanometers in diameter) with well-defined stoichiometry and intimacy between constituent metals remains a substantial challenge. We synthesized 10 different supported bimetallic nanoparticles via surface inorganometallic chemistry by decomposing and reducing surface-adsorbed heterometallic double complex salts, which are readily obtained upon sequential adsorption of target cations and anions on a silica substrate. For example, adsorption of tetraamminepalladium(II) [Pd(NH3)42+] followed by adsorption of tetrachloroplatinate [PtCl42−] was used to form palladium-platinum (Pd-Pt) nanoparticles. These supported bimetallic nanoparticles show enhanced catalytic performance in acetylene selective hydrogenation, which clearly demonstrates a synergistic effect between constituent metals.

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