Synthesis of highly uniform and composition-controlled gold–palladium supported nanoparticles in continuous flow†
The synthesis of supported bimetallic nanoparticles with well-defined size and compositional parameters has long been a challenge. Although batch colloidal methods are commonly used to pre-form metal nanoparticles with the desired size-range in solution, inhomogeneous mixing of the reactant solutions often leads to variations in size, structure and composition from batch-to-batch and even particle-to-particle. Here we describe a millifluidic approach for the production of oxide supported monometallic Au and bimetallic AuPd nanoparticles in a continuous fashion. This optimised method enables the production of nanoparticles with smaller mean sizes, tighter particle size distributions and a more uniform particle-to-particle chemical composition as compared to the conventional batch procedure. In addition, we describe a facile procedure to prepare bimetallic Au@Pd core–shell nanoparticles in continuous flow starting from solutions of the metal precursors. Moreover, the relative ease of scalability of this technique makes the proposed methodology appealing not only for small-scale laboratory purposes, but also for the industrial-scale production of supported metal nanoparticles.