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Forming a Highly Active, Homogeneously Alloyed AuPt Co-catalyst Decoration on TiO2 Nanotubes Directly During Anodic Growth

Bian, Haidong, Nguyen, Nhat Truong, Yoo, JeongEun, Hejazi, Seyedsina, Mohajernia, Shiva, Müller, Julian, Spiecker, Erdmann, Tsuchiya, Hiroaki, Tomanec, Ondrej, Sanabria-Arenas, Beatriz E., Zboril, Radek, Li, Yang Yang, Schmuki, Patrik
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.21 pp. 18220-18226
alloy nanoparticles, alloys, gold, hydrogen production, nanogold, nanotubes, photocatalysis, platinum, solar radiation, thermodynamics, titanium dioxide
Au and Pt do not form homogeneous bulk alloys as they are thermodynamically not miscible. However, we show that anodic TiO₂ nanotubes (NTs) can in situ be uniformly decorated with homogeneous AuPt alloy nanoparticles (NPs) during their anodic growth. For this, a metallic Ti substrate containing low amounts of dissolved Au (0.1 atom %) and Pt (0.1 atom %) is used for anodizing. The matrix metal (Ti) is converted to oxide, whereas at the oxide/metal interface direct noble metal particle formation and alloying of Au and Pt takes place; continuously these particles are then picked up by the growing nanotube wall. In our experiments, the AuPt alloy NPs have an average size of 4.2 nm, and at the end of the anodic process, these are regularly dispersed over the TiO₂ nanotubes. These alloyed AuPt particles act as excellent co-catalyst in photocatalytic H₂ generation, with a H₂ production rate of 12.04 μL h–¹ under solar light. This represents a strongly enhanced activity as compared to TiO₂ NTs decorated with monometallic particles of Au (7 μL h–¹) or Pt (9.96 μL h–¹).