Amorphous Pd-based Nanomaterials and their catalytic applications


City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has developed a facile and robust wet-chemical method for the synthesis of a series of amorphous Pd-based nanoparticles, which can be applied to efficiently catalyze the epoxide alcoholysis reaction and various electrochemical reactions, including hydrogen evolution reaction and alcohol oxidation reaction

  • Amorphous Pd-based Nanomaterials and their catalytic applications
Research completion
Commercialisation opportunities
technology licensing agreement
Problem addressed

Amorphous nanomaterials with long-range disordered structures are highly efficient catalysts for various catalytic reactions. However, the controlled preparation of amorphous noble metal-based nanomaterials still remains challenging. CityU has developed a novel and facile wet-chemical method to synthesize various amorphous Pd-based nanoparticles in large scale, which exhibit excellent catalytic performance for epoxide alcoholysis reaction and diverse electrochemical reactions

  • Various amorphous binary, ternary, quaternary and quinary Pd-based nanomaterials, including Pd-Ru, Pd-Rh, Pd-Ag-Ru, Pd-Ag-Rh, Pd-Ru-Rh, Pd-Ag-Ru-Rh and Pd-Ag-Ru-Rh-Ir nanoparticles, can be prepared in a controlled manner and large scale. The composition, size and surface chemistry of as-synthesized amorphous Pd-based nanoparticles can be rationally tuned via regulating the synthetic protocols
  • Epoxide substrate can be catalyzed by the amorphous Pd-based nanoparticles to undergo a heterogeneous alcoholysis reaction with high conversion and selectivity instead of a conventional hydrogenation reaction. The amorphous Pd-based nanocatalysts show a good catalytic stability and recyclability, which meets the requirement of green chemistry
  • The amorphous Pd-based nanoparticles can also be used as advanced versatile electrocatalysts for various electrochemical reactions, such as the hydrogen evolution reaction and alcohol oxidation reaction, which show high potential for the application in green energy industry
Key impact
  • The synthetic method of the amorphous Pd-based nanoparticles is a facile one-pot reaction conducted under mild conditions, which can be readily scaled up, showing great potential to be applied in various related fields
  • The epoxide alcoholysis reaction conducted using heterogeneous amorphous Pd-based nanoparticles has the merits of good catalytic recycling rate, easy product purification, and environmentally friendly process
  • As novel electrocatalysts, the amorphous Pd-based nanoparticles not only show low onset overpotential towards the electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction, providing a low energy consuming method to generate hydrogen, but also exhibit a much higher mass activity in electrochemical alcohol oxidation reaction as compared to the commercial Pd/C catalyst
  • As advanced catalysts for highly efficient alcoholysis reaction of epoxides towards the synthesis of various β-alkoxy alcohols
  • As advanced catalysts for highly efficient electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction towards the facile production of hydrogen
  • As advanced catalysts for highly efficient electrochemical alcohol oxidation reaction in direct alcohol fuel cells as the next-generation energy devices


  • US patent, application number: 63/334,655
City University of Hong Kong (CityU)

As one of the fastest growing universities in the world over the past decade, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is recognised as a hub for innovation in research and professional education. CityU identifies solutions to critical global challenges by extending the frontiers of knowledge both within and beyond existing research paradigms.

The University’s highly qualified academics are drawn from all over the world, not only bringing a wealth of research and professional experience to the teaching programmes, but also contributing to the knowledge and technology advancement.