Catalytically active nano-porous cobalt-palladium alloys

Shay Avisar, Yahel Shner, Raed Abu-Reziq, Inna Popov, Avi Bino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The potential advantages of nano-alloys and particularly, nano-porous alloys, place them at the “spotlight” of heterogeneous catalysis. Nevertheless, controlling the precise compositions of these materials is still a synthetic challenge. Previous research introduced the fabrication of metals and alloys with a high nano-scale porosity and controllable compositions, via a hydrogen-mediated chemical reduction process of metal complex salts. We have used this procedure to obtain two magnetic nano-porous Co-Pd alloys, pure porous palladium and pure porous cobalt. Single crystal X-ray diffraction studies enabled structural determination of the two Co-Pd bi-complex salts that were used as precursors for these alloys. Powder X-ray diffraction studies determined the crystalline phases of the alloys and indicated the nanometric size of their crystallites. High-resolution scanning electron microscopy indicated that these alloys assemble as highly porous clusters of interconnected nano-crystallites. It also indicated that each alloy cluster preserves the micrometric morphologies of its salt precursor. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy showed that the alloys exhibit uniform composition down to the micro-level, which preserved the Co/Pd ratio within the salts. Focused ion beam tomography enabled 3D structural representation of the alloys and metals. Geometrical analysis of the 3D reconstructed data determined 90% porosity and a specific surface area of ~100 m2/g for the alloys. In addition, the alloys showed improved catalytic activity in the semi-hydrogenation of phenylacetylene, compared to the pure metals and commercial Pd/C. Moreover, their magnetic properties enabled facile recovery at the end of the reaction. The yield for styrene in this reaction was increased using “design of experiments” (DOE), a method for optimization of reaction conditions. Furthermore, our experiments implied that a highly porous structure significantly improves the selectivity of styrene in the reaction. These results demonstrated the advantage of fabricating nano-porous alloys with uniform compositions that may exhibit special properties and serve as new and efficient catalysts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number161936
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Catalysis
  • Gas-solid reactions
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • Transition metal alloys and compounds
  • Vacancy formation
  • X-ray diffraction


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