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For the first time, researchers at IRIG and CNRS have used the ESRF synchrotron in Grenoble to measure the deformation of a single platinum nanoparticle in an electrochemical solution. This provides an in-sight into the properties of this material, which is used in particular as a catalyst in fuel cells and water electrolyzers.
Nanoparticles offer a significant advantage over solid materials: their nanometric di-mension consid-erably increases contact surfaces, thus enhancing their catalytic activity and selectivity. This ena-bles chemical processes to be carried out using fewer reagents, reducing energy consumption and therefore costs. However, as these particles are highly complex, it has not been possible to charac-terize them individually until now. Average measurements were carried out on at least a hundred nanoparticles. Information on their structural properties and the respective contributions of their vari-ous catalytic sites was therefore only known on average.
Atlan C. Chatelier C. Martens I. Dupraz M. Viola A. Li N. Gao L. J. Leake S. Schülli TU. Eymery J. Maillard F. and Richard M-IImaging the strain evolution of a platinum nanoparticle under electrochemical control. Nature Materials 2023
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.