Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2010, Vol. 83, No. 10, pp. 1755−1761.
Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Original Russian Text
S.A. Ziganshina, D.A. Bizyaeva, D.V. Lebedev, A.P. Chuklanov, A.A. Bukharaev, 2010, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii,
2010, Vol. 83, No. 10, pp. 1616−1622.
OF SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES
Atomic-Force Microscopy of Nickel Nanoparticles Possessing
S. A. Ziganshina
, D. A. Bizyaev
, D. V. Lebedev
A. P. Chuklanov
, and A. A. Bukharaev
Zavoiskii Physicotechnical Institute, Kazan Scientiﬁ c Center, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia
Kazan State University, Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia
Received December 8, 2009
Abstract—Surface morphology of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite with electrodeposited nickel nanoparticles
was studied by atomic-force microscopy in the presence and absence of ethanol. Voltammetric and atomic-force
microscopic data and histograms of particle size distribution were used to evaluate the unit-area catalytic activity
of the nanocatalyst in relation to conditions of its preparation.
At present, studies concerned with properties of
nanosize objects are being actively carried out. The
interest in objects of this kind is stimulated, on the one
hand, by important advances in experimental techniques
for fabrication of nanomaterials and methods for
their characterization and, on the other hand, by the
possibility of using nanostructures for applied purposes.
Of particular interest among all the nanomaterials
being developed are nanosize catalyst particles and,
in particular, metal nanoparticles. Owing to the fact
that metal particles acquire speciﬁ c properties on the
nanoscale, one of which is the high catalytic activity
in various reactions, use of these particles in direct
alcoholic fuel cells is considered to be promising [1–4].
At present, platinum and platinum-containing catalysts
are rather widely used for these purposes. However, their
high cost and infrequent occurrence in the Earth’s crust
make it necessary to create and study catalysts based
on 3d-metals, e.g., nickel, whose electronic structure
is similar to that of noble metals. Therefore, transition
metals can successfully replace platinum and palladium
in numerous chemical and electrochemical reactions
[5–8]. New types of nickel catalysts for electro-
oxidation of ethanol and other alcohols in an alkaline
medium have been developed [6–9]. Thus, analysis
of published data shows that a large number of new
catalysts for electro-oxidation of low-molecular-mass
alcohols based on both noble and transition metals have
been synthesized in recent years. However, the effect of
the size of nanocatalysts on their catalytic properties is
insufﬁ ciently understood.
In most of experimental studies, transition metal
catalysts have been formed using the electrochemical
method [6, 10, 11]. The main advantage of this method
is in the comparative simplicity of formation of metal
particles. Catalyst particles with a wide range of sizes
can be produced by electrochemical deposition under
varied conditions (e.g., solution composition, deposition
time and potential).
It is known that heterogeneous catalytic reactions
occur at the catalyst surface, and the catalytic activity of
a material depends on the state of its surface. Therefore
the activity of a catalyst is commonly related to its unit
surface . This quantity, named speciﬁ c catalytic
activity, is determined by the chemical composition,
crystallite size, and surface morphology of a catalyst.
In the last decade, the atomic-force microscopy (AFM)
has recommended itself well in studies of various kinds
of surfaces . The method has good resolution, does
not destruct the object of study, and needs no complex
preparation procedures. Correlating the catalytic