Tuning the oscillatory dynamics of the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction using ruthenium nanoparticle decorated graphene†
The classic Belousov–Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction, which involves transition metal catalysed redox reactions, represents a family of nonlinear chemical oscillators. Here, we show that it is possible to tune the oscillatory dynamics of the BZ reaction by using a hybrid 2D material, i.e., graphene-based nanosheets decorated with Ru nanoparticles. Specifically, we demonstrate that the frequency of chemical oscillations in a BZ reaction increases, by up to four-fold, when catalyzed by the Ru–graphene nanocomposite. We show that this observed behaviour is attributed to enhanced access to active catalytic sites on Ru nanoparticles, as well as the rapid shuttling of electrons facilitated by the highly conductive graphene platform. We further demonstrate that this enhancement of oscillations facilitated by the graphene platform can be simulated using the Oregonator model. Our numerical simulations reveal a strong correlation between the rate of charge transfer and the frequency of chemical oscillations. This ability of a 2D material, like graphene, to influence the dynamics of an oscillatory chemical reaction, as showcased in this work, is studied for the first time and opens up new avenues to tune the dynamics of chemical oscillators. We anticipate that these findings would enable us to design a variety of intrinsically powered biomimetic systems with controllable dynamic behavior.