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Gerard Leteba

Highly monodisperse and uniform-sized nanoparticles of platinum (Pt), vanadium (V) and vanadium oxide of different morphologies were synthesized by employing various novel chemical solution-based synthetic approaches comprising thermal decomposition (thermolysis), thermal reduction and nonhydrolytic sol-gel reactions. Synthesis of these colloidal nanocrystals involved the heat-up of chemical mixtures of metal precursors, surface active agents (surfactants) as stabilizers, solvents and reductants from room temperature to high temperature.

The ultimate goal of this project was to explore alternative and various synthetic routes for the design and fabrication of V@Pt core-shell and bimetallic nanoparticles. The novel preparative techniques resulted in the synthesis of uniform VPt bimetallic nanoparticles, although synthesis of core-shell nanoparticles still remains a challenge. The development of monodisperse VPt nanoparticles paves the way for facilitating oxidation-reduction reactions (ORR) in hydrogen fuel cells.