A molecule-like PtAu24(SC6H13)18 nanocluster as an electrocatalyst for hydrogen production
The theoretically predicted volcano plot for hydrogen production shows the best catalyst as the one that ensures that the hydrogen binding step is thermodynamically neutral. However, the experimental realization of this concept has suffered from the inherent surface heterogeneity of solid catalysts. It is even more challenging for molecular catalysts because of their complex chemical environment. Here, we report that the thermoneutral catalyst can be prepared by simple doping of a platinum atom into a molecule-like gold nanocluster. The catalytic activity of the resulting bimetallic nanocluster, PtAu24(SC6H13)18, for the hydrogen production is found to be significantly higher than reported catalysts. It is even better than the benchmarking platinum catalyst. The molecule-like bimetallic nanocluster represents a class of catalysts that bridge homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis and may provide a platform for the discovery of finely optimized catalysts.
Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14723 (2017)