A strategy for fabricating nanoporous gold films through chemical dealloying of electrochemically deposited Au-Sn alloys
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We report a novel strategy for the fabrication of nanoporous gold (NPG) films. The fabrication process involves the electrodeposition of a gold-tin alloy, followed by subsequent chemical dealloying of tin. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images show a bicontinuous nanoporous structure formed on the substrates after chemical dealloying. Energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) analysis indicates that there are no impurities in the Au-Sn alloy film with an average composition of 58 at. % Au and 42 at. % Sn. After dealloying, only gold remains in the NPG film indicating the effectiveness of this technique. X-ray diffraction (XRD) results reveal that the as-prepared Au-Sn alloy film is composed of two phases (Au5Sn and AuSn), while the NPG film is composed of a single phase (Au). We demonstrate that this approach enables the fabrication of NPG films, either freestanding or supported on various conductive substrates such as copper foil, stainless steel sheet and nickel foam. The resulting NPG electrode exhibits enhanced electrocatalytic activity toward both H2O2 reduction and methanol oxidation compared to the polished Au disc electrode. Our strategy provides a general method to fabricate high quality NPG films on conductive substrates, which will broaden the application potential of NPG or NPG-based materials in various fields such as catalysis, optics and sensor technology.
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