Salt-Mediated Au-Cu Nanofoam and Au-Cu-Pd Porous Macrobeam Synthesis.

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Chemistry and Life Science, Mathematical Sciences

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Multi-metallic and alloy nanomaterials enable a broad range of catalytic applications with high surface area and tuning reaction specificity through the variation of metal composition. The ability to synthesize these materials as three-dimensional nanostructures enables control of surface area, pore size and mass transfer properties, electronic conductivity, and ultimately device integration. Au-Cu nanomaterials offer tunable optical and catalytic properties at reduced material cost. The synthesis methods for Au-Cu nanostructures, especially three-dimensional materials, has been limited. Here, we present Au-Cu nanofoams and Au-Cu-Pd macrobeams synthesized from salt precursors. Salt precursors formed from the precipitation of square planar ions resulted in short- and long-range ordered crystals that, when reduced in solution, form nanofoams or macrobeams that can be dried or pressed into freestanding monoliths or films. Metal composition was determined with X-ray diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Nitrogen gas adsorption indicated an Au-Cu nanofoam specific surface area of 19.4 m²/g. Specific capacitance determined with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was 46.0 F/g and 52.5 F/g for Au-Cu nanofoams and Au-Cu-Pd macrobeams, respectively. The use of salt precursors is envisioned as a synthesis route to numerous metal and multi-metallic nanostructures for catalytic, energy storage, and sensing applications.

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