One-pot aqueous synthesis of ultrathin trimetallic PdPtCu nanosheets for the electrooxidation of alcohols†
Due to their synergistic structural and compositional advantages, ultrathin multimetallic nanosheets are widely recognized as highly efficient electrocatalysts for alcohol electrooxidation. However, despite significant efforts, current synthetic strategies for the preparation of multimetallic nanosheets mainly focus on the reduction of metal precursors in organic solvents or in the presence of toxic CO. In this study, a one-pot aqueous synthesis method based on the self-assembly of the novel surfactant docosyltrimethylammonium chloride was employed to produce ultrathin free-standing trimetallic PdPtCu nanosheets under ambient and eco-friendly conditions. No toxic chemicals or organic solvents were employed in this synthesis. The obtained PdPtCu nanosheets were ultrathin with a dendrite-like nanostructure (with an average thickness of ∼3.5 nm) and alloyed crystalline features. The proposed synthetic strategy is also universally applicable for tuning the elemental ratios and compositions of ultrathin multimetallic nanosheets. Due to the multiple advantages of unique ultrathin dendrite nanostructures and multimetallic elemental compositions, the PdPtCu nanosheets exhibited remarkably enhanced performance in the electrooxidation of alcohols (methanol, ethanol, glycerol and glucose). The proposed one-pot eco-friendly synthetic concept could be used to build more multimetallic nanostructures with synergetic enhancement effects for a range of electrocatalytic applications.