Hope College Physics Department
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2013
Project Summary

 

Project Title: The Electrodeposition and Dealloying of NiCu Films for Catalytic Methanol Oxidation Activity
Student Name: Matthew Milliken
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Hampton
Source of Support:

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF-RUI Grant No. DMR-1104725 and NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-0959282.

Catalytic nanostructures have seen a surge of interest in the past decade. With Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive x-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), the surface area, topography, and composition of these nanostructures can be characterized. The accessibility of these instruments has generated interest involving the interactive effects of surface topography and catalytic activity of binary alloys. The research conducted involved electrodepositing, dealloying, and characterizing various nickel-copper binary alloys for methanol oxidation applications. By dealloying copper out of the sample through Controlled Potential Electrolysis (CPE), a high-surface nanoporous material was fabricated. Utilizing Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), the oxidation of methanol was analyzed before and after dealloying to determine whether porosity enhanced the catalytic efficiency. These samples were also characterized via SEM/EDS before and after dealloying.

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