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An Integrated Electrochemistry Approach to the Design and Synthesis of Polyhedral Noble Metal Nanoparticles

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journal contribution
posted on 25.11.2020, 22:03 by Sean P. McDarby, Claire J. Wang, Melissa E. King, Michelle L. Personick
The synthesis of shaped metal nanoparticles to meet the precise needs of emerging applications requires intentional synthetic design directed by fundamental chemical principles. We report an integrated electrochemistry approach to nanoparticle synthetic design that couples current-driven growth of metal nanoparticles on an electrode surfacein close analogy to standard colloidal synthesiswith electrochemical measurements of both electrochemical and colloidal nanoparticle growth. A simple chronopotentiometry method was used to translate an existing colloidal synthesis for corrugated palladium (Pd) nanoparticles to electrochemical growth on a glassy carbon electrode, with minimal modification to the growth solution. The electrochemical synthesis method was then utilized to produce large Pd icosahedra, a shape whose synthesis is challenging in a colloidal growth environment. This electrochemical synthesis for Pd icosahedra was used to develop a corresponding colloidal growth solution by tailoring a weak reducing agent to the measured potential profile of the electrochemical synthesis. Finally, measurements of colloidal syntheses were employed as guides for the directed design of electrochemical syntheses for Pd cubes and octahedra. Together, this work provides a cyclical approach to shaped nanoparticle design that allows for the optimization of nanoparticles grown via a colloidal approach with a chemical reducing agent or synthesized with an applied current on an electrode surface as well as subsequent bidirectional translation between the two methods. The enhanced chemical flexibility and direct tunability of this electrochemical method relative to combinatorial design of colloidal syntheses have the potential to accelerate the synthetic design process for noble metal nanoparticles with targeted morphologies.