Shape-Dependent Catalytic Activity of Gold and Bimetallic Nanoparticles in the Reduction of Methylene Blue by Sodium Borohydride
in: Catalysts (2021)
In this study the catalytic activity of different gold and bimetallic nanoparticle solutions towards the reduction of methylene blue by sodium borohydride as a model reaction is investigated. By utilizing differently shaped gold nanoparticles, i.e., spheres, cubes, prisms and rods as well as bimetallic gold–palladium and gold–platinum core-shell nanorods, we evaluate the effect of the catalyst surface area as available gold surface area, the shape of the nanoparticles and the impact of added secondary metals in case of bimetallic nanorods. We track the reaction by UV/Vis measurements in the range of 190–850 nm every 60 s. It is assumed that the gold nanoparticles do not only act as a unit transferring electrons from sodium borohydride towards methylene blue but can promote the electron transfer upon plasmonic excitation. By testing different particle shapes, we could indeed demonstrate an effect of the particle shape by excluding the impact of surface area and/or surface ligands. All nanoparticle solutions showed a higher methylene blue turnover than their reference, whereby gold nanoprisms exhibited 100% turnover as no further methylene blue absorption peak was detected. The reaction rate constant k was also determined and revealed overall quicker reactions when gold or bimetallic nanoparticles were added as a catalyst, and again these were highest for nanoprisms. Furthermore, when comparing gold and bimetallic nanorods, it could be shown that through the addition of the catalytically active second metal platinum or palladium, the dye turnover was accelerated and degradation rate constants were higher compared to those of pure gold nanorods. The results explore the catalytic activity of nanoparticles, and assist in exploring further catalytic applications.