Plasmon-engineered anti-replacement synthesis of naked Cu nanoclusters with ultrahigh electrocatalytic activity

Shusheng Pan, Xian Zhang, Wei Lu, Siu Fung Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Anti-replacement reaction between Au nanoparticles and Cu2+ ions is studied under the irradiation of nanosecond laser pulses at a wavelength of 532 nm. It is revealed that high-purity naked Cu nanoclusters, which have an average diameter of 2 nm, can be extracted from CuCl2 solution. The Au nanoparticles are also completely converted to Au3+ and Au+ ions by "hot holes". This is because of the plasmon generated "hot electrons" which overcome the limitation of thermodynamic reaction between the Au nanoparticles and Cu2+ ions. Furthermore, we find that the naked Cu nanoclusters exhibit enhanced electrocatalytic performance 1500 times higher than that of the ligand-protected Cu nanoclusters with similar size to achieve the oxygen reduction reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18687-18693
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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