Rapid Synthesis of Rhodium–Palladium Alloy Nanocatalysts

Graham W. Piburn, Hao Li, Pranaw Kunal, Graeme Henkelman, Simon M. Humphrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The chemistry of metastable RhPd alloys is not well understood, and well-characterized nanoparticle (NP) examples remain rare. Well-defined and near-monodisperse RhPd NPs were prepared in a simple one-pot approach by using microwave-assisted or conventional heating in reaction times as short as 30 s. The catalytic hydrogenation activity of supported RhPd NP catalysts revealed that short synthesis times resulted in the most-active and most-stable hydrogenation catalysts, whereas longer synthesis times promoted partial Rh-Pd core–shell segregation. Relative to Rh NPs, RhPd NPs resisted deactivation over longer reaction times. Density functional theory (DFT) was employed to estimate the binding energies of H and alkenes on (1 1 1) Rh, Pd, and Rh0.5Pd0.5 surfaces. The DFT results concurred with experiment and concluded that the alkene hydrogenation activity trend was of the order Pd<RhPd<Rh. Rh-to-Pd charge-transfer in the RhPd alloys was found to play an important role in modulating the H binding energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-333
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 9
Externally publishedYes


  • alloys
  • hydrogenation
  • nanoparticles
  • palladium
  • rhodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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