Large-scale template-free synthesis of ordered mesoporous platinum nanocubes and their electrocatalytic properties†
Here we report a facile, one-pot and template-free approach to synthesize mesoporous monocrystalline Pt nanocubes with uniform shapes and sizes, in which small Pt particles with a size of ∼5 nm are three-dimensionally and periodically built up into cubes with a size of ∼50 nm. The forming process is illustrated through a novel meso-crystal self-assembly mechanism. Very interestingly, the mesoporous structures are ordered, which are thought to be beneficial to increase their catalytic activity. Compared with nonporous Pt nanoparticles and porous Pt nanoparticles without order, the ordered mesoporous Pt nanocubes exhibit a highly improved electrocatalytic ability for methanol and formic acid oxidation, and are potentially applicable as electrocatalysts for direct methanol and formic acid fuel cells. Furthermore, this approach can be used to synthesize other Pt-series metallic mesoporous nanoparticles, such as Pd.