Platinum-Grafted Twenty-Five Atom Gold Nanoclusters for Robust Hydrogen Evolution

Paloli Mymoona, Jose V Rival, Nonappa, Edakkattuparambil Sidharth Shibu, Chinnaiah Jeyabharathi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


A robust hydrogen evolution is demonstrated from Au25 (PET)18 ]- nanoclusters (PET = 2-phenylethanethiol) grafted with minimal platinum atoms. The fabrication involves an electrochemical activation of nanoclusters by partial removal of thiols, without affecting the metallic core, which exposes Au-sites adsorbed with hydrogen and enables an electroless grafting of platinum. The exposed Au-sites feature the (111)-facet of the fcc-Au25 nanoclusters as assessed through lead underpotential deposition. The electrochemically activated nanoclusters (without Pt loading) show better electrocatalytic reactivity toward hydrogen evolution reaction than the pristine nanoclusters in an acidic medium. The platinum-grafted nanocluster outperformed with a lower overpotential of 0.117 V vs RHE (RHE = Reversible Hydrogen Electrode) compared to electrochemically activated nanoclusters (0.353 V vs RHE ) at 10 mA cm-2 and is comparable with commercial Pt/C. The electrochemically activated nanoclusters show better reactivity at higher current density owing to the ease of hydrogen release from the active sites. The modified nanoclusters show unique supramolecular self-assembly characteristics as observed in electron microscopy and tomography due to the possible metallophilic interactions. These results suggest that the post-surface modification of nanoclusters will be an ideal tool to address the sustainable production of green hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2308610
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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