Single Nanoparticle Activities in Ensemble: A Study on Pd Cluster Nanoportals for Electrochemical Oxygen Evolution Reaction

Abheek Datta, Alexander J. Porkovich, Pawan Kumar, Giorgos Nikoulis, Joseph Kioseoglou, Toshio Sasaki, Stephan Steinhauer, Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos, Mukhles Sowwan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

13 Scopus citations


Comprehensive understanding of the electrochemical activity of single nanoparticles (NPs) is in critical need for opening new avenues in the broad field of electrochemistry. Published reports on single-NP electrocatalysts typically include complicated and difficult methods of synthesis and characterization; moreover, these methods usually fail to provide a reliable way to measure the activities of individual NPs within larger ensembles of particles, i.e., in real-life nanocatalyst systems. In the present work, we synthesized from the gas phase Pd NPs that act as nanoportals for electron transfer within surface-oxidized Mg thin films. The physical synthesis method provided excellent control over the deposition density and, hence, enabled the design of a system where each individual open nanoportal forms an independent active single-NP electrode (SNPE). Being uncoupled from one another, these SNPEs contribute separately toward the total electrocatalytic activity while simultaneously providing a measure of their average, individual activities. We were thus able to fabricate a stable, steady-state electrode for the electrochemical oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and to study the activity and stability of the SNPEs over a period of 20 days; the former depended on the size of the NPs, while the latter depended on the SNPEs' resistance to aerial oxidation. The remarkable stability of the ensemble catalysts under OER conditions proves that this concept can be used for further studies on the activities of different single NPs in numerous real-life systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26124-26135
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number43
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


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