American Chemical Society
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Enhanced Electrocatalytic Activity of Copper–Cobalt Nanostructures

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-08-04, 00:00 authored by Jahangeer Ahmed, Aparna Ganguly, Soumen Saha, Govind Gupta, Phong Trinh, Amos M. Mugweru, Samuel E. Lofland, Kandalam V. Ramanujachary, Ashok K. Ganguli
Novel core–shell nanostructures containing Cu and Co have been synthesized using the microemulsion method at 700 °C. The core consists of Cu–Co composite particles, whereas the shell is composed of Cu–Co alloy particles (shell thickness ∼12 nm). It is to be noted that in bulk Cu–Co binary system there is practically no miscibility. TEM studies show formation of spherical-shaped nanoparticles of core–shell structures. The composition of the core (Cu–Co composite) and shell (Cu–Co alloy) were confirmed by XPS studies. The formation of the Cu–Co alloy as the shell is mainly driven by surface energy considerations. We have also obtained Cu–Co nanocomposites (by controlling the concentration of reducing agent) with particle size in the range of 40–200 nm. These Cu–Co nanostructures show ferromagnetic behavior at 4 K. The saturation magnetization of the core–shell (Cu–Co composite @ Cu–Co alloy) nanostructure (125 emu/g) is found to be higher than that of pure Cu–Co nanocomposite or alloy, which may be useful for applications as a soft magnet. Electrochemical studies of these nanocrystalline Cu–Co particles show higher hydrogen evolution efficiencies (∼5 times) compared to bulk (micrometer-sized) Cu–Co alloy particles.