Traditionally, the synthesis of CoFe nanoparticles with tunable particle sizes and narrow particle size-distributions is accomplished via the use of expensive and air sensitive precursors and strong non-polar capping agents. Such strong capping agents can be difficult to remove from the nanoparticles and thus render them catalytically inactive. We report a novel solution-based methodology to synthesize CoFe alloy nanoparticles with narrow size-distributions using a combination of robust and inexpensive metal precursors and an easily removable polar capping agent. High resolution transmission electron microscope images show that the CoFe alloy nanoparticles are well crystallized, and the particle size is tunable from 9 to 24 nm while keeping a particle size standard deviation of 10%. The CoFe alloy nanoparticles show superior activity for NaBH4 hydrolysis compared with the best-known CoFe catalysts. This work represents a substantial improvement in the synthesis of transition metal nanoparticles, opening the pathway for their application to a number of technologically important catalytic applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology