Effects of Metal Composition and Ratio on Peptide-Templated Multimetallic PdPt Nanomaterials

Nicholas A. Merrill, Tadeusz T. Nitka, Erik M. McKee, Kyle C. Merino, Lawrence F. Drummy, Sungsik Lee, Benjamin Reinhart, Yang Ren, Catherine J. Munro, Svitlana Pylypenko, Anatoly I. Frenkel, Nicholas M. Bedford, Marc Knecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


It can be difficult to simultaneously control the size, composition, and morphology of metal nanomaterials under benign aqueous conditions. For this, bioinspired approaches have become increasingly popular due to their ability to stabilize a wide array of metal catalysts under ambient conditions. In this regard, we used the R5 peptide as a three-dimensional template for formation of PdPt bimetallic nanomaterials. Monometallic Pd and Pt nanomaterials have been shown to be highly reactive toward a variety of catalytic processes, but by forming bimetallic species, increased catalytic activity may be realized. The optimal metal-to-metal ratio was determined by varying the Pd:Pt ratio to obtain the largest increase in catalytic activity. To better understand the morphology and the local atomic structure of the materials, the bimetallic PdPt nanomaterials were extensively studied by transmission electron microscopy, extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and pair distribution function analysis. The resulting PdPt materials were determined to form multicomponent nanostructures where the Pt component demonstrated varying degrees of oxidation based upon the Pd:Pt ratio. To test the catalytic reactivity of the materials, olefin hydrogenation was conducted, which indicated a slight catalytic enhancement for the multicomponent materials. These results suggest a strong correlation between the metal ratio and the stabilizing biotemplate in controlling the final materials morphology, composition, and the interactions between the two metal species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8030-8040
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 8 2017


  • atomic characterization
  • bimetallic
  • catalysis
  • nanoparticle
  • peptides
  • X-ray characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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    Merrill, N. A., Nitka, T. T., McKee, E. M., Merino, K. C., Drummy, L. F., Lee, S., Reinhart, B., Ren, Y., Munro, C. J., Pylypenko, S., Frenkel, A. I., Bedford, N. M., & Knecht, M. (2017). Effects of Metal Composition and Ratio on Peptide-Templated Multimetallic PdPt Nanomaterials. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 9(9), 8030-8040. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.6b11651