A Molecule-like PtAu24(SC6H13)18 Nanocluster as an Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Production

Kyuju Kwak†, Woojun Choi†, Qing Tang, Minseok Kim, Yongjin Lee, De-en Jiang*, Dongil Lee*
(† equal contribution)
Nature Commun., 2017, 8, 14723

Abstract

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.