The ability to prepare nanostructured metal catalysts requires the ability to control size and interparticle spatial and surface access properties. In this work, we report novel findings of an atomic force microscopic investigation of a controlled thermal activation strategy of gold catalysts nanostructured via molecular wiring or linking on a substrate surface. Gold nanocrystals of ∼2 nm diameter capped by decanethiolate and wired by 1,9-nonanedithiolate on mica substrates were studied as a model system. By manipulating the activation temperature (200-250 °C), the capping/wiring molecules can be removed to produce controllable particle size and interparticle spatial morphology. The electrocatalytic activity of the activated nanostructures toward methanol oxidation, which is of fundamental importance to fuel cell catalysis, has been demonstrated. The novelty of the findings is the viability of a thermal activation strategy of core-shell nanostructured catalysts based on molecularly predefined interparticle spatial properties on a substrate, which upon further investigation may form the basis for spatially controllable nanostructured catalysts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry