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Alloying palladium (Pd) catalysts with various metalloid and nonmetal elements can improve their catalytic performance in different chemical reactions. However, current nanosynthesis methods can only generate Pd alloys containing one metalloid or nonmetal, which limits the kinds of element combinations that may be used to improve Pd-based nanocatalysts. Herein, we report a simple soft-templating synthetic strategy to co-alloy Pd with the metalloid boron (B) and the nonmetal phosphorus (P) to generate ternary PdBP mesoporous nanospheres (MSs) with three-dimensional dendritic frameworks. We use a one-step aqueous synthesis method where dimethylamine borane and sodium hypophosphite serve as the B and P sources, respectively, as well as the co-reducing agents to drive the nucleation and growth of ternary PdBP alloy on sacrificial dioctadecyldimethylammonium chloride template. The concentration of metalloid to nonmetal and the diameters of dendritic MSs can be tailored. The synthetic protocol is also extended to other multicomponent PdMBP alloy MSs to generate different kinds of dendritic mesoporous frameworks. Boron and phosphorus are known to accelerate the kinetics of the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and alcohol oxidation reactions (AORs), because their alloys promote the decomposition of oxygen-containing intermediates on Pd surfaces. The dendritic mesoporous morphology of the ternary PdBP MSs also accelerates electron/mass transfer and exposes numerous active sites, enabling better performance in the ORR and AOR. Extending the surfactant-templating synthetic route to multiple kinds of elements will enable the generation of libraries of multicomponent metal-metalloid-nonmetal alloy nanostructures with functions that are suitable for various targeted applications.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: ACS nano
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