Self-Organized Platinum Nanoparticles on Freestanding Graphene

PF Xu and L Dong and M Neek-Amal and ML Ackerman and JH Yu and SD Barber and JK Schoelz and DJ Qi and FF Xu and PM Thibado and FM Peeters, ACS NANO, 8, 2697-2703 (2014).

DOI: 10.1021/nn406394f

Freestanding graphene membranes were successfully functionalized with platinum nanoparticles (Pt NPs). High-resolution transmission electron microscopy revealed a homogeneous distribution of single-crystal Pt NPs that tend to exhibit a preferred orientation. Unexpectedly, the NPs were also found to be partially exposed to the vacuum with the top Pt surface raised above the graphene substrate, as deduced from atomic-scale scanning tunneling microscopy images and detailed molecular dynamics simulations. Local strain accumulation during the growth process is thought to be the origin of the NP self-organization. These findings are expected to shape future approaches in developing Pt NP catalysts for fuel cells as well as NP-functionalized graphene-based high-performance electronics.

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