Nano Research

Article Title

Noble metal nanoclusters and their in situ calcination to nanocrystals: Precise control of their size and interface with TiO2 nanosheets and their versatile catalysis applications


noble metal nanocluster, organic synthesis catalyst, cocatayst, photocatalyst hydrogenproduction, photocurrent response


In this work, we present a new versatile strategy to prepare noble metal (Au, Agand Cu) nanoclusters on TiO2 nanosheets in large scales with exposed (001)facets with controlled size, crystalline interface, and loading amount. By precisein situ calcination, the metal (M = Au, Ag, and Cu) nanocrystals with controllablesize and better crystalline interface with the TiO2 support have been prepared.The potential application of the as-prepared Au, Ag, and Cu nanoclusters on TiO2nanosheets as potential heterogeneous catalysts for organic synthesis, such ascatalytic reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol, has been demonstrated.After calcination, Au, Ag, and Cu nanocrystals were found to be proficientcocatalysts for photocatalytic H2 evolution, particularly the Au cocatalyst. Basedon precise high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) andinductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) analyses,the flexible control of their size and loading amount as well as their intimatecontact with the TiO2 nanosheet enhanced the photocatalytic H2 evolution activityand the sensitivity of the photocurrent response of the film. Furthermore, thisaqueous-directed synthesis of metal nanoclusters on a support will generatefurther interest in the field of nanocatalysis.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press