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PdCu alloy nanoclusters: generation and activity tuning for electrocatalytic oxidation of nitrite

By: Xiaohong Zhu; Guangfeng Kang; Xiangqin Lin;

2007 / Springer Science+Business Media / 0026-3672


The process control of electrodeposition of nanoparticles by cyclic voltammetry (CV) is important with respect to the preparation of highly active catalysts. We have simultaneously deposited novel nanoclusters of PdCu alloys on the surface of glassy carbon electrodes (GCEs) from a solution. SEM, XPS, XRD and electrochemical techniques were used for characterizing the nanocomposite and the modified electrode (PdCu/GCE). We found that the PdCu alloys form liana-like fractal 2D-nanoclusters on the base and spherical 3D-nanoclusters on the top, and these clusters consisted of 9.9 nm average sized nanoparticles. The 2D-clusters have strong ability to reduce the overpotentials of nitrite oxidation but have small influence on the current response. Inversely, the 3D-clusters have weak ability to influence the overpotentials but strong ability to influence the current response. It is found that the cycle number is important to the catalytic activity of the generated nanoclusters and 25 cycle number was the optimal for obtaining most negative peak potential (0.77 V vs. SCE) with highest CV peak current (0.53 A/M · cm) and DPV peak current for nitrite oxidation. This PdCu/GCE can be used as a sensitive and stable nitrite sensor with wide linear range. Mechanisms of the deposition and catalytic activity of the nanoclusters are discussed.