Ligand-free noble metal nanocluster catalysts on carbon supports via “soft” nitriding

Liu, Ben
Yao, Huiqin
Song, Wenqiao
Jin, Lei
Mosa, Islam M.
Rusling, James F.
Suib, Steven L.
He, Jie
Liu, Ben; Yao, Huiqin; Song, Wenqiao; Jin, Lei; Mosa, Islam M. Rusling, James F.; Suib, Steven L.; He, Jie (2016). Ligand-free noble metal nanocluster catalysts on carbon supports via “soft” nitriding. Journal of the American Chemical Society 138 (14), 4718-4721
We report a robust, universal "soft" nitriding method to grow in situ ligand-free ultrasmall noble metal nanocatalysts (UNMN; e.g., Au, Pd, and Pt) onto carbon. Using low-temperature urea pretreatment at 300 degrees C, soft nitriding enriches nitrogen-containing species on the surface of carbon supports and enhances the affinity of noble metal precursors onto these supports. We demonstrated sub-2-nm, ligand-free UNMNs grown in situ on seven different types of nitrided carbons with no organic ligands via chemical reduction or thermolysis. Ligand-free UNMNs supported on carbon showed superior electrocatalytic activity for methanol oxidation compared to counterparts with surface capping agents or larger nanocrystals on the same carbon supports. Our method is expected to provide guidelines for the preparation of ligand-free UNMNs on a variety of supports and, additionally, to broaden their applications in energy conversion and electrochemical catalysis.
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland