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Catalytic Palladium Film Deposited by Scalable Low-Temperature Aqueous Combustion

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journal contribution
posted on 05.09.2017, 00:00 by Albert A. Voskanyan, Chi-Ying Vanessa Li, Kwong-Yu Chan
This article describes a novel method for depositing a dense, high quality palladium thin film via a one-step aqueous combustion process which can be easily scaled up. Film deposition of Pd from aqueous solutions by conventional chemical or electrochemical methods is inhibited by hydrogen embrittlement, thus resulting in a brittle palladium film. The method outlined in this work allows a direct aqueous solution deposition of a mirror-bright, durable Pd film on substrates including glass and glassy carbon. This simple procedure has many advantages including a very high deposition rate (>10 cm2 min–1) and a relatively low deposition temperature (250 °C), which makes it suitable for large-scale industrial applications. Although preparation of various high-quality oxide films has been successfully accomplished via solution combustion synthesis (SCS) before, this article presents the first report on direct SCS production of a metallic film. The mechanism of Pd film formation is discussed with the identification of a complex formed between palladium nitrate and glycine at low temperature. The catalytic properties and stability of films are successfully tested in alcohol electrooxidation and electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction. It was observed that combustion deposited Pd film on a glassy carbon electrode showed excellent catalytic activity in ethanol oxidation without using any binder or additive. We also report for the first time the concept of a reusable “catalytic flask” as illustrated by the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction. The Pd film uniformly covers the inner walls of the flask and eliminates the catalyst separation step. We believe the innovative concept of a reusable catalytic flask is very promising and has the required features to become a commercial product in the future.