Newsportal - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Kristina Tschulik and Mathies Evers develop methods that help to use rare and expensive precious metal nanoparticles as sparingly as possible for catalysis.
This solution contains the precursor material that is transformed into gold nanoparticles in the electrochemical experiments.
The method of the Bochum researchers cannot only be used to economically coat surfaces with precious metal nanoparticles. It can also determine exactly how much of the material is used in the process.
Applying precious metal catalysts economically
Researchers at RUB and the Fritz Haber Institute Berlin have developed a new method of using rare and expensive catalysts as sparingly as possible. They enclosed a precious metal salt in outer shells, tiny micelles, and had them strike against a carbon electrode, thus coating the surface with nanoparticles of the precious metal contained in the micelles. At the same time, the team was able to precisely analyse how much of the metal was deposited. The researchers then showed that the electrode coated in this manner could efficiently catalyse the oxygen reduction, which is the limiting chemical process in fuel cells.
The team led by Professor Kristina Tschulik and Mathies Evers from the Research Group for Electrochemistry and Nanoscale Materials describes the process in the journal “Angewandte Chemie”, published online in advance on 11 April 2019.
“Only flat substrates can be coated uniformly with nanoparticles using standard methods,” says Kristina Tschulik. “Our process means that even complex surfaces can be loaded uniformly with a catalyst.”
15 May 2019