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Ordered arrays of shape-selective nanoparticles: fabrication, characterization, and potential catalytic properties

K.J. Heroux, S. Hunyadi Murph
Savannah River Site, US

Keywords: nanoparticles, catalysis, lithography, fabrication, array


Nanomaterials have generated a great deal of interest in recent years due to their unique catalytic and optical properties. Of particular interest is the use of nanostructured materials for catalytic and photocatalytic applications. In this work, we focus on the fabrication and characterization of ordered arrays of shape-selective nanoparticles. Advanced lithographic and thin film deposition techniques (E-beam lithography, thin layer thermal evaporation, atomic layer deposition, and reactive ion Si etching) were employed to create different shaped nanoparticles of various metals supported on Si posts. The ordered arrays of metallic and bimetallic nanoparticles (such as Pt, Pd, and Au-Pt) may provide an effective alternative to the current Pt catalysts used in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) which are costly and highly susceptible to CO-poisoning. For solar cell applications, metallic arrays further functionalized with SiO2, TiO2, or both (via ALD or thiol linkers) may exhibit enhanced photocatalytic properties. Though TiO2 is a highly efficient photocatalytic material, it is only active under UV irradiation thus coupling of semiconductor materials and/or incorporation of noble metals into the catalyst surface are two routes employed in this work to help sensitize TiO2 to visible light.
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