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Specific-Ion Effects Directed Noble Metal Aerogels: Versatile Manipulation for Electrocatalysis and Beyond

revised on 22.03.2019, 16:26 and posted on 22.03.2019, 18:41 by RAN DU, YUE HU, René Hübner, Jan-Ole Joswig, Xuelin Fan, Kristian Schneider, Alexander Eychmüller
Noble metal foams (NMFs) are a new class of functional porous materials featuring properties of both noble metals and monolithic porous materials, providing impressive prospects in catalysis, bio-sensing, plasmonic technologies, etc...Among reported synthetic methods to date, the sol-gel approach manifests overwhelming advantages for versatile synthesis of controlled nanostructured NMFs under mild condition. However, limited gelation methods and insufficient understanding of the underlying mechanism retards structure/composition manipulation of NMFs, hampering ondemand designing for practical applications. Herein highly tunable NMFs are fabricated at room temperature by activating specific-ion effects and regulating ion-nanoparticle interactions, affording various single/alloy NMFs with adjustable compositions (Au, Ag, Pd, Pt), ligament sizes (3.1~142.0 nm), and special morphologies. Their superior performance in programmable self-propulsion devices and electrocatalytic alcohol oxidation are demonstrated. This study provides not only a conceptually new route to fabricate and manipulate functional NMFs, but also an overall picture in understanding the gelation mechanism. It may pave the way for on-target designing versatile NMFs for various applications.



National Natural Science Foundation of China (51602226)

Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (LY19E020008)


Email Address of Submitting Author


TU Dresden



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Version Notes

This is only the first draft.