Temporal Evolution of Morphology, Composition, and Structure in the Formation of Colloidal High-Entropy Intermetallic Nanoparticles

Samuel S. Soliman, Gaurav R. Dey, Connor R. McCormick, Raymond E. Schaak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Morphology-controlled nanoparticles of high entropy intermetallic compounds are quickly becoming high-value targets for catalysis. Their ordered structures with multiple distinct crystallographic sites, coupled with the "cocktail effect" that emerges from randomly mixing a large number of elements, yield catalytic active sites capable of achieving advanced catalytic functions. Despite this growing interest, little is known about the pathways by which high entropy intermetallic nanoparticles form and grow in solution. As a result, controlling their morphology remains challenging. Here, we use the high entropy intermetallic compound (Pd,Rh,Ir,Pt)Sn, which adopts a NiAs-related crystal structure, as a model system for understanding how nanoparticle morphology, composition, and structure evolve during synthesis in solution using a slow-injection reaction. By performing a time-point study, we establish the initial formation of palladium-rich cube-like Pd-Sn seeds onto which the other metals deposit over time, concomitant with continued incorporation of tin. For (Pd,Rh,Ir,Pt)Sn, growth occurs on the corners, resulting in a sample having a mixture of flower-like and cube-like morphologies. We then synthesize and characterize a library of 14 distinct intermetallic nanoparticle systems that comprise all possible binary, ternary, and quaternary constituents of (Pd,Rh,Ir,Pt)Sn. From these studies, we correlated compositions, morphologies, and growth pathways with the constituent elements and their competitive reactivities, ultimately mapping out a framework that rationalizes the key features of the high entropy (Pd,Rh,Ir,Pt)Sn intermetallic nanoparticles based on those of their simpler constituents. We then validated these design guidelines by applying them to the synthesis of a morphologically pure variant of flowerlike (Pd,Rh,Ir,Pt)Sn particles as well as a series of (Pd,Rh,Ir,Pt)Sn particles with tunable morphologies based on control of composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16147-16159
Number of pages13
JournalACS nano
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 22 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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