Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.140, No.20, 6249-6259, 2018
Experimental and Theoretical Structural Investigation of AuPt Nanoparticles Synthesized Using a Direct Electrochemical Method
In this report, we examine the structure of bimetallic nanomaterials prepared by an electrochemical approach known as hydride-terminated (HT) electrodeposition. It has been shown previously that this method can lead to deposition of a single Pt monolayer on bulk-phase Au surfaces. Specifically, under appropriate electrochemical conditions and using a solution containing PtCl42-, a monolayer of Pt atoms electrodeposits onto bulk-phase Au immediately followed by a monolayer of H atoms. The H atom capping layer prevents deposition of Pt multilayers. We applied this method to similar to 1.6 nm Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) immobilized on an inert electrode surface. In contrast to the well-defined, segregated Au/Pt structure of the bulk-phase surface, we observe that HT electrodeposition leads to the formation of AuPt quasi-random alloy NPs rather than the core@shell structure anticipated from earlier reports relating to deposition onto bulk phases. The results provide a good example of how the phase behavior of macro materials does not always translate to the nano world. A key component of this study was the structure determination of the AuPt NPs, which required a combination of electrochemical methods, electron microscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and theory (DFT and MD).