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Nanotechnology Volume 28, No. 6, January 2017

S. Schlicht, A. Kireev, E. Grachova, S. Tunik, A. Manshina, J. Bachmann

A model electrode of well-defined geometry prepared by direct laser-induced decoration of nanoporous templates with Au–Ag@C nanoparticles

Nanotechnology Volume 28, No. 6, January 2017

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/aa536a

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We present an original type of model electrode system consisting of bimetallic Au–Ag nanoparticles embedded in an amorphous carbon matrix with an extremely well-defined geometry of parallel, straight, cylindrical macropores. The samples are prepared in one step by direct laser deposition of the metal/carbon composite onto the inner walls of a porous ‘anodic’ alumina matrix serving as a template. The coating is homogeneous from top to bottom of the pores, and the amount of material deposited can be tuned by the duration of the deposition procedure. As a test system, we demonstrate that a bimetallic Ag–Au@C system is catalytically active for the electrochemical oxidation of glucose in alkaline solution, the anodic reaction of a direct glucose fuel cell. Furthermore, the electrocatalytic current density increases with the amount of Ag–Au@C NPs deposited, up to a point at which the pores are clogged with it. This type of model system allows for the systematic study of geometric effects in fuel cell electrodes. It can be generalized to a number of different nanoparticle compositions, and thereby, to various electrocatalytic reactions.