Strategic Surface Selection for Nanoparticle Immobilization to Enhance Catalytic Reactivity

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Ekkehard Sinn

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherine Obare

Third Advisor

Dr. Ramakrishna Guda

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Michael J Barcelona


Strategic selection, nanoparticle immobilization, catalytic reactivity


Well-defined catalytic nanoparticles consisting of bimetallic Pt-Ni alloys were prepared with homogeneity and characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The effect of the support material on the catalytic activity of the nanoparticles was investigated with the aim of optimizing the catalyst activity. Nickel and platinum supported on silica (SiO2), graphene oxide (GO), and molybdenum sulfide (MoS2) with the ratio of the Pt: Ni being 1:1, 1:2, and 2:1 were prepared and their catalytic efficiency was evaluated using a model oxime reaction. The catalysts were optimized to allow the reaction to proceed at ambient temperature and in the aqueous phase. The concentration of each metal ion was determined by employing inductively coupled plasma−optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The turnover frequency (TOF) was calculated to evaluate the catalytic performance of Pt/Ni@SiO2, Pt/Ni@GO, and Pt/Ni@MoS2 toward oximation reactions at 50% and 90% conversion. The TOF of Pt/Ni@GO was found to be higher than of Pt@SiO2 and Pt/Ni@MoS2.

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