Governing the morphology of Pt–Au heteronanocrystals with improved electrocatalytic performance†
Platinum–gold heteronanostructures comprising either dimer (Pt–Au) or core–satellite (Pt@Au) configurations were synthesized by means of a seeded growth procedure using platinum nanodendrites as seeds. Careful control of the reduction kinetics of the gold precursor can be used to direct the nucleation and growth of gold nanoparticles on either one or multiple surface sites simultaneously, leading to the formation of either dimers or core–satellite nanoparticles, respectively, in high yields. Characterization by electron tomography and high resolution electron microscopy provided a better understanding of the actual three-dimensional particle morphology, as well as the Au–Pt interface, revealing quasi-epitaxial growth of Au on Pt. The prepared Pt–Au bimetallic nanostructures are highly efficient catalysts for ethanol oxidation in alkaline solution, showing accurate selectivity, high sensitivity, and improved efficiency by generating higher current densities than their monometallic counterparts.