February 2, 2009
Nano beads build minuscule hydrogen catalysts
Grow the tiniest gold-platinum nanoparticles
on microscopic plastic beads, leech away the gold, and you're left
with an efficient catalyst for generating hydrogen for fuel cells.
The process begins with forming 2 to 3 nanometer particles
of a gold-platinum alloy in tangles of polymer molecules on the surfaces
of 100 nanometer latex beads. Slowly removing the gold leaves highly-faceted
platinum nanocrystals. The polymer keeps the nanocrystals from clumping
The small size and sharply defined faces of the platinum nanocrystals
make them highly reactive. The nanocrystals proved to be efficient
catalysts in laboratory tests.
Platinum nanocrystals are commonly used as hydrogen catalysts,
but it's difficult to make platinum crystals smaller than 100 nanometers.
Nanocrystals of Platinum Prepared by Partial Dissolution of Au-Pt
Science, January 30, 2009
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