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Scalable Synthesis of Ag Networks with Optimized Sub-monolayer Au-Pd Nanoparticle Covering for Highly Enhanced SERS Detection and Catalysis

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      Highly porous tri-metallic AgxAuyPdz networks with a sub-monolayer bimetallic Au-Pd nanoparticle coating were synthesized via a designed galvanic replacement reaction of Ag nanosponges suspended in mixed solutions of HAuCl4 and K2PdCl4. The resulting networks’ ligaments have a rough surface with bimetallic nanoparticles and nanopores due to removal of Ag. The surface morphology and composition are adjustable by the temperature and mixed solutions’ concentration. Very low combined Au and Pd atomic percentage (1−x) where x is atomic percentage of Ag leads to sub-monolayer nanoparticle coverings allowing a large number of active boundaries, nanopores, and metal-metal interfaces to be accessible. Optimization of the Au/Pd atomic ratio y/z obtains large surface-enhanced Raman scattering detection sensitivity (at y/z = 5.06) and a higher catalytic activity (at y/z = 3.55) toward reduction reactions as benchmarked with 4-nitrophenol than for most bimetallic catalysts. Subsequent optimization of x (at fixed y/z) further increases the catalytic activity to obtain a superior tri-metallic catalyst, which is mainly attributed to the synergy of several aspects including the large porosity, increased surface roughness, accessible interfaces, and hydrogen absorption capacity of nanosized Pd. This work provides a new concept for scalable synthesis and performance optimization of tri-metallic nanostructures.

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      Most cited references 25

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          Optical properties of Pd-Ag and Pt-Ag nanoboxes synthesized via galvanic replacement reactions.

          Silver nanocubes dispersed in water were transformed into Pd-Ag or Pt-Ag nanoboxes by adding either Na(2)PdCl(4) or Na(2)PtCl(4). By controlling the amount of noble metal salt added, and therefore the molar ratio of Na(2)PdCl(4) or Na(2)PtCl(4) to Ag, we could tune the surface plasmon resonance peak of the nanostructures across the entire visible spectrum, from 440 to 730 nm. Replacement of Ag with Pd resulted in the formation of a nanobox composed of a Pd-Ag alloy single crystal, but the nanobox formed after replacement of Ag with Pt was instead composed of distinct Pt nanoparticles. DDA calculations suggest that both nanoboxes absorb light strongly, with Q(abs)/Q(sca) approximately 5. After galvanic replacement, Pd-Ag and Pt-Ag nanostructures remain SERS active, suggesting their use as a SERS probe for studying the dependence of interfacial chemistry on composition.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Institute of Materials Engineering, Nanjing University , Jiangsu, P. R. China
            [2 ]School of Materials Engineering, Nanjing Institute of Technology , Jiangsu, P. R. China
            Author notes
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            15 November 2016
            : 6
            Copyright © 2016, The Author(s)

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