Electrosynthesis of high-entropy metallic glass nanoparticles for designer, multi-functional electrocatalysis.


Department of Chemistry, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3290, USA. [Email]


Creative approaches to the design of catalytic nanomaterials are necessary in achieving environmentally sustainable energy sources. Integrating dissimilar metals into a single nanoparticle (NP) offers a unique avenue for customizing catalytic activity and maximizing surface area. Alloys containing five or more equimolar components with a disordered, amorphous microstructure, referred to as High-Entropy Metallic Glasses (HEMGs), provide tunable catalytic performance based on the individual properties of incorporated metals. Here, we present a generalized strategy to electrosynthesize HEMG-NPs with up to eight equimolar components by confining multiple metal salt precursors to water nanodroplets emulsified in dichloroethane. Upon collision with an electrode, alloy NPs are electrodeposited into a disordered microstructure, where dissimilar metal atoms are proximally arranged. We also demonstrate precise control over metal stoichiometry by tuning the concentration of metal salt dissolved in the nanodroplet. The application of HEMG-NPs to energy conversion is highlighted with electrocatalytic water splitting on CoFeLaNiPt HEMG-NPs.