Materials for catalytic applications require large surface area and desirable chemistry to facilitate a specific reaction. Metallic glasses exist in a wide range of chemical compositions and we have recently shown tunable nanostructure with large active surface area. Motivated by these characteristics, we have explored the use of a number of metallic glasses as electro-catalysts in direct alcohol fuel cells. We demonstrated that the activity and durability of metallic-glass nanostructures are superior compared to benchmark catalysts. The activity of these catalysts is further enhanced by de-alloying mediated surface area enhancement. We are exploring combinatorial strategies to develop catalytic materials.

 

By combining selective dealloying with nanoimprinting of metallic glass, porous nanorods with ultra-high surface area can be obtained.

By combining selective dealloying with nanoimprinting of metallic glass, porous nanorods with ultra-high surface area can be obtained.

The morphology and catalytic activity of a metallic glass can be tuned by appropriate cyclic voltammetry. For an undercritical potential, selective dealloying occurs leaving behind an open-cell nanoporous structure. For cycling above a critical potential, highly branched dendritic structures are obtained.

The morphology and catalytic activity of a metallic glass can be tuned by appropriate cyclic voltammetry. For an undercritical potential, selective dealloying occurs leaving behind an open-cell nanoporous structure. For cycling above a critical potential, highly branched dendritic structures are obtained.