Preparation of tunable Cu-Ag nanostructures by electrodeposition in a deep eutectic solvent

28 February 2024, Version 3
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The green transition requires the preparation of clean, inexpensive, and sustainable strategies to prepare controllable bimetallic and multimetallic nanostructures. Cu-Ag nanostructures, for example, are promising bimetallic catalysts for different electrocatalytic reactions such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide reduction. In this work, we present the one-step preparation method of electrodeposited Cu-Ag with tunable composition and morphology from choline chloride plus urea deep eutectic solvent (DES), a non-toxic and green DES. We have assessed how different electrodeposition parameters affect the morphology and composition of our nanostructures. We combine electrochemical methods with ex-situ scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to characterize the nanostructures. We have estimated the electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) and roughness factor (R) by lead underpotential deposition (UPD). The copper/silver ratio in the electrodeposited nanostructures is highly sensitive to the applied potential, bath composition, and loading. We observed that silver-rich nanostructures were less adherent whereas the increase in copper content led to more stable and homogenous films with disperse rounded nanostructures with tiny spikes. These spikes were more stable when the deposition rate was fast enough and the molar ratio of Cu and Ag no greater than approximately two to one.


Deep eutectic solvent
green solvent
copper-silver nanostructures
tuneable nanocatalysts

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information Preparation of tunable Cu-Ag nanostructures by electrodeposition in a deep eutectic solvent
Associated content with a detailed electrochemical characterization of the 1Cu:1Ag and 6Cu:1Ag electrodeposition from DES by CV and CA analysis is included. Additional ex-situ characterization of the Cu-Ag nanostructures with SEM images, EDS and XPS analysis are added. Finally, lead UPD voltammograms of the Cu-Ag nanostructures for all circulated charges and applied potentials have been represented and further analysed. The analysis of the single silver electrodeposition with its morphological characterization by SEM and the Pb-UPD voltammetry is added.


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