Exposure to Air Transforms Gold Alloys Into Catalytic Nanostructures

By: Jennifer Rocha

Brookhaven Lab scientists create promising gold-indium oxide nanoparticles through room-temperature oxidation

Story content courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered a process of creating uniquely structured gold-indium nanoparticles that combine high stability, great catalytic potential, and a simple synthesis process. The new nanostructures might enhance many different commercial and industrial processes, including acting as an efficient material for catalytic converters in cars.

“We discovered a room-temperature process that transforms a simple alloy into a nanostructure with remarkable properties,” said physicist Eli Sutter, lead author on the study. “By exposing the gold-indium alloy nanoparticles to air, ambient oxygen was able to drive an oxidation reaction that converted them into an active core-shell structure.”

The research was conducted at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), whose unique facilities for nanoscale synthesis and characterization proved central to the discovery of this new process.  The Center for Functional Nanomaterials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science.

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