[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this report we present the synthesis and characterization of Pt and Pd dendrimer-encapsulated nanoparticles (DENs) using the method of galvanic exchange. Sixth-generation hydroxyl-terminated poly(amidoamine) dendrimers were used to prepare Cu DENs composed of 55 atoms. In the presence of either PtCl 4 2À or PdCl 4 2À , the less noble Cu DENs oxidize to Cu 2+ leaving behind an equal-sized DEN of Pt or Pd, respectively. DENs prepared by direct reduction with BH 4 À , which is the common synthetic route, and those prepared by galvanic exchange have the same composition, structure, and properties as judged by UV-vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and electrochemical methods. However, the galvanic exchange synthesis is much faster (3 h vs. 96 h), and the yield of reduced DENs is significantly higher (nearly 100% in the case of galvanic exchange).
New Journal of Chemistry 01/2054; 35(35):2054-2060. DOI:10.1039/C1NJ20083F · 3.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To create truly effective electrocatalysts for the cathodic reaction governing proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), namely the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), necessitates an accurate and detailed structural understanding of these electrocatalysts, especially at the nanoscale, and to precisely correlate that structure with demonstrable performance enhancement. To address this key issue, we have combined and interwoven theoretical calculations with experimental, spectroscopic observations in order to acquire useful structural insights into the active site geometry with implications for designing optimized nanoscale electrocatalysts with rationally predicted properties. Specifically, we have probed ultrathin (∼2 nm) core-shell Pt∼Pd9Au nanowires, which have been previously shown to be excellent candidates for ORR in terms of both activity and long-term stability, from the complementary perspectives of both DFT calculations and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The combination and correlation of data from both experimental and theoretical studies has revealed for the first time that the catalytically active structure of our ternary nanowires can actually be ascribed to a PtAu∼Pd configuration, comprising a PtAu binary shell and a pure inner Pd core. Moreover, we have plausibly attributed the resulting structure to a specific synthesis step, namely the Cu underpotential deposition (UPD) followed by galvanic replacement with Pt. Hence, the fundamental insights gained into the performance of our ultrathin nanowires from our demonstrated approach will likely guide future directed efforts aimed at broadly improving upon the durability and stability of nanoscale electrocatalysts in general.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 09/2015; DOI:10.1021/jacs.5b07093 · 12.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a new paper-based isotachophoresis (ITP) device design for focusing DNA samples having lengths ranging from 23 to at least 1517 bp. DNA is concentrated by more than two orders of magnitude within 4 min. The key component of this device is a 2 mm-long, 2 mm-wide circular paper channel formed by concertina folding a paper strip and aligning the circular paper zones on each layer. Due to the short channel length, a high electric field of ~16 kV m(-1) is easily generated in the paper channel using two 9 V batteries. The multilayer architecture also enables convenient reclamation and analysis of the sample after ITP focusing by simply opening the origami paper and cutting out the desired layers. We profiled the electric field in the origami paper channel during ITP experiments using a nonfocusing fluorescent tracer. The result showed that focusing relied on formation and subsequent movement of a sharp electric field boundary between the leading and trailing electrolyte.
Lab on a Chip 09/2015; DOI:10.1039/c5lc00875a · 6.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we show that a simple paper-based electrochemical sensor, fabricated by paper folding, is able to detect a 30-base nucleotide sequence characteristic of DNA from the hepatitis B virus (HBV) with a detection limit of 85 pM. This device is based on design principles we have reported previously for detecting proteins via a metalloimmunoassay. It has four desirable attributes. First, its design combines simple origami (paper folding) assembly, the open structure of a hollow-channel paper analytical device to accommodate micrometer-scale particles, and a convenient slip layer for timing incubation steps. Second, two stages of amplification are achieved: silver nanoparticle labels provide a maximum amplification factor of 250 000 and magnetic microbeads, which are mobile solid-phase supports for the capture probes, are concentrated at a detection electrode and provide an additional ∼25-fold amplification. Third, there are no enzymes or antibodies used in the assay, thereby increasing its speed, stability, and robustness. Fourth, only a single sample incubation step is required before detection is initiated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a paper-based assay platform for detection of ricin a chain. The paper platform is assembled by simple origami paper folding. The sensor is based on quantitative, electrochemical detection of silver nanoparticle labels linked to a magnetic microbead support via a ricin immunosandwich. Importantly, ricin was detected at concentrations as low as 34 pM. Additionally, the assay is robust, even in the presence of 100-fold excess hoax materials. Finally, the device is easily remediated after use by incineration. The cost of the device, not including reagents, is just $0.30. The total assay time, including formation of the immunosandwich, is 9.5 min.
Lab on a Chip 07/2015; 15(18). DOI:10.1039/c5lc00731c · 6.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we report on the electrochemical detection of individual collisions between a conjugate consisting of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) linked to conductive magnetic microbeads (cMμBs) via DNA hybridization and a magnetized electrode. The important result is that the presence of the magnetic field increases the flux of the conjugate to the electrode surface, and this in turn increases the collision frequency and improves the limit of detection (20 aM). In addition, the magnitude of the charge associated with the collisions is greatly enhanced in the presence of the magnetic field. The integration of DNA into the detection protocol potentially provides a means for using electrochemical collisions for applications in biological and chemical sensing.
Chemical Science 07/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SC02259B · 9.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An integrated microfluidic/magnetophoretic methodology was developed for improving signal response time and detection limits for the chronoamperometric observation of discrete nanoparticle/electrode interactions by electrocatalytic amplification. The strategy relied on Pt-decorated iron oxide nanoparticles which exhibit both superparamagnetism and electrocatalytic activity for the oxidation of hydrazine. A wet chemical synthetic approach succeeded in the controlled growth of Pt on the surface of FeO/Fe3O4 core/shell nanocubes, resulting in highly uniform Pt-decorated iron oxide hybrid nanoparticles with good dispersibility in water. The unique mechanism of hybrid nanoparticle formation was investigated by electron microscopy and spectroscopic analysis of isolated nanoparticle intermediates and final products. Discrete hybrid nanoparticle collision events were detected in the presence of hydrazine, an electrochemical indicator probe, using a gold microband electrode integrated into a microfluidic channel. In contrast with related systems, the experimental nanoparticle/electrode collision rate correlates more closely with simple theoretical approximations, primarily due to the accuracy of the nanoparticle tracking analysis method used to quantify nanoparticle concentrations and diffusion coefficients. Further modification of the microfluidic device was made by applying a tightly focused magnetic field to the detection volume to attract the magnetic nanoprobes to the microband working electrode, thereby resulting in a 6-fold increase to the relative frequency of chronoamperometric signals corresponding to discrete nanoparticle impact events.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A theoretical and experimental study of the electrocatalytic oxidation of CO on PdxAu140–x@Pt dendrimer-encapsulated nanoparticle (DEN) catalysts is presented. These nanoparticles are comprised of a core having an average of 140 atoms and a Pt monolayer shell. The CO oxidation activity trend exhibits an unusual koppa shape as the number of Pd atoms in the core is varied from 0 to 140. Calculations based on density functional theory suggest that the koppa-shaped trend is driven primarily by structural changes that affect the CO binding energy on the surface. Specifically, a pure Au core leads to deformation of the Pt shell and a compression of the Pt lattice. In contrast, Pd, from the pure Pd cores, tends to segregate on the DEN surface, forming an inverted configuration having Pt within the core and Pd in the shell. With a small addition of Au, however, the alloy PdAu cores stabilize the core@shell structures by preventing Au and Pd from escaping to the particle surface.Keywords: PdAu; Cu UPD; PdAu@Pt; core@shell; CO oxidation; deformation; DFT
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The synthesis and characterization of Sn nanoparticles in organic solvents using sixth-generation dendrimers modified on their periphery with hydrophobic groups as stabilizers are reported. Sn(2+):dendrimer ratios of 147 and 225 were employed for the synthesis, corresponding to formation of Sn147 and Sn225 dendrimer-stabilized nanoparticles (DSNs). Transmission electron microscopy analysis indicated the presence of ultrasmall Sn nanoparticles having an average size of 3.0-5.0 nm. X-ray absorption spectroscopy suggested the presence of Sn nanoparticles with only partially oxidized surfaces. Cyclic voltammetry studies of the Sn DSNs for Li alloying/dealloying reactions demonstrated good reversibility. Control experiments carried out in the absence of DSNs clearly indicated that these ultrasmall Sn DSNs react directly with Li to form SnLi alloys.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the research described in this Account is the development of high-throughput computational-based screening methods for discovery of catalyst candidates and subsequent experimental validation using appropriate catalytic nanoparticles. Dendrimer-encapsulated nanoparticles (DENs), which are well-defined 1-2 nm diameter metal nanoparticles, fulfill the role of model electrocatalysts. Effective comparison of theory and experiment requires that the theoretical and experimental models map onto one another perfectly. We use novel synthetic methods, advanced characterization techniques, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations to approach this ideal. For example, well-defined core@shell DENs can be synthesized by electrochemical underpotential deposition (UPD), and the observed deposition potentials can be compared to those calculated by DFT. Theory is also used to learn more about structure than can be determined by analytical characterization alone. For example, density functional theory molecular dynamics (DFT-MD) was used to show that the core@shell configuration of Au@Pt DENs undergoes a surface reconstruction that dramatically affects its electrocatalytic properties. A separate Pd@Pt DENs study also revealed reorganization, in this case a core-shell inversion to a Pt@Pd structure. Understanding these types of structural changes is critical to building correlations between structure and catalytic function. Indeed, the second principal focus of the work described here is correlating structure and catalytic function through the combined use of theory and experiment. For example, the Au@Pt DENs system described earlier is used for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) as well as for the electro-oxidation of formic acid. The surface reorganization predicted by theory enhances our understanding of the catalytic measurements. In the case of formic acid oxidation, the deformed nanoparticle structure leads to reduced CO binding energy and therefore improved oxidation activity. The final catalytic study we present is an instance of theory correctly predicting (in advance of the experiments) the structure of an effective DEN electrocatalyst. Specifically, DFT was used to determine the optimal composition of the alloy-core in AuPd@Pt DENs for the ORR. This prediction was subsequently confirmed experimentally. This study highlights the major theme of our research: the progression of using theory to rationalize experimental results to the more advanced goal of using theory to predict catalyst function a priori. We still have a long way to go before theory will be the principal means of catalyst discovery, but this Account begins to shed some light on the path that may lead in that direction.
Accounts of Chemical Research 05/2015; 48(5). DOI:10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00125 · 22.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a method for quantifying the accuracy of extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) fitting models. As a test system, we consider the structure of bare Au147 nanoparticles as well as particles bound with thiol ligands, which are used to systematically vary disorder in the atomic structure of the nanoparticles. The accuracy of the fitting model is determined by comparing two distributions of bond lengths: (1) a direct average over a molecular dynamics (MD) trajectory using forces and energies from density functional theory (DFT) and (2) a fit to the theoretical EXAFS spec- tra generated from that same trajectory. Both harmonic and quasi-harmonic EXAFS fitting models are used to characterize the first-shell Au-Au bond length distribution. The harmonic model is found to significantly underestimate the coordination number, disorder, and bond length. The quasi-harmonic model, which includes the third cu- mulant of the first-shell bond length distribution, yields accurate bond lengths, but incorrectly predicts a decrease in particle size and little change in the disorder with increasing thiol ligands. A direct analysis of the MD data shows that the particle surfaces become much more disordered with ligand binding and the high disorder is incorrectly interpreted by the EXAFS fitting models. Our DFT calculations compare well with experimental EXAFS measurements of Au nanoparticles, synthesized using a dendrimer encapsulation technique, showing that systematic errors in EXAFS fitting models apply to nanoparticles on the size of 1-2 nm. Finally we show that a combina- tion of experimental EXAFS analysis with candidate models from DFT is a promising strategy for a more accurate determination of nanoparticle structures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper summarizes several studies correlating the structure and function of nanoparticle catalysts. Three types of alloy nanoparticles are considered, random alloy, core@shell and alloy-core@shell structures. In the first two cases, the focus is to build theoretical models to understand previous experimental results. In the latter case, calculations play a greater role in leading the development of nanoparticle catalysts. We demonstrate that iteration between theory and experiment can facilitate an understanding of nanoparticle catalysts and reduce the time and effort involved in the design of new catalysts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report electrochemical catalytic amplification of individual collisions between ∼57 nm diameter Pt nanoparticles (Pt NPs) and 12.5 μm diameter Au ultramicroelectrodes modified with passivating, electrostatically assembled polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) films prepared by the layer-by-layer deposition method. Two key findings are reported. First, despite the thicknesses of the insulating PEM films, which range up to 5 nm, electrons are able to tunnel from the Pt NPs to the electrode resulting in electrocatalytic N2H4 oxidation at the PEM film-solution interface. These single-particle measurements are in accord with prior reports showing that the electrochemical activity of passive PEM films can be reactivated by adsorption of metallic NPs. Second, it is possible to control the frequency of the collisions by manipulating the net electrostatic charge present on the outer surface of the PEM thin film. These results, which demonstrate that chemistry can be used to control electrocatalytic amplification, set the stage for future sensing applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an origami paper-based electrophoretic device (oPAD-Ep) that achieves rapid (∼5 min) separation of fluorescent molecules and proteins. Due to the innovative design, the required driving voltage is just ∼10 V, which is more than 10 times lower than that used for conventional electrophoresis. The oPAD-Ep uses multiple, thin (180 μm/layer) folded paper layers as the supporting medium for electrophoresis. This approach significantly shortens the distance between the anode and cathode, and this, in turn, accounts for the high electric field (>1 kV/m) that can be achieved even with a low applied voltage. The multilayer design of the oPAD-Ep enables convenient sample introduction by use of a slip layer as well as easy product analysis and reclamation after electrophoresis by unfolding the origami paper and cutting out desired layers. We demonstrate the use of oPAD-Ep for simple separation of proteins in bovine serum, which illustrates its potential applications for point-of-care diagnostic testing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we outline a new method for synthesizing fully reduced Pt dendrimer-encapsulated nanoparticles (DENs). This is achieved by first synthesizing Cu DENs of the appropriate size through sequential dendrimer loading and reduction steps, and then galvanically exchanging the zerovalent Cu DENs for Pt. The properties of Pt DENs having an average of 55, 140, and 225 atoms prepared by direct chemical reduction and by galvanic exchange are compared. Data obtained by UV-vis spectroscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and high-resolution electron microscopy confirm only the presence of fully reduced Pt DENs when synthesized by galvanic exchange, while chemical reduction leads to a mixture of reduced DENs and unreduced precursor. These results are significant because Pt DENs are good models for developing a better understanding of the effects of finite size on catalytic reactions. Until now, however, the results of such studies have been complicated by a heterogeneous mixture of Pt catalysts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we report on the electrochemical properties of carbon electrodes coated with thin layers of Al2O3 and SnO2. These oxide films were deposited using atomic layer deposition (ALD) and range in thickness from 1 to 6 nm. Electrochemical experiments show that the thinnest oxide layers contain defects that penetrate to the underlying carbon electrode. However, oxygenation of the carbon surface prior to ALD increases the surface concentration of nucleation sites for oxide growth and suppresses the defect density. Films of Al2O3 just ∼3-4 nm in thickness are free of pinholes. Slightly thicker coatings of SnO2 are required for equivalent passivation. Both Al2O3 and SnO2 films are stable in both neutral and acidic electrolytes even after repeated voltammetric scanning. The results reported here open up the possibility of studying the effect of oxide supports on electrocatalytic reactions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on the effect of convection on electrochemically active collisions between individual Pt nanoparticles (PtNPs) and Hg and Au electrodes. Compared to standard electrochemical cells utilizing Hg and Au ultramicroelectrodes (UMEs) used in previous studies of electrocatalytic amplification, microelectrochemical devices offer two major advantages. First, the PtNP limit of detection (0.084 pM) is ∼8 times lower than the lowest concentration measured using UMEs. Second, convection enhances the mass transfer of PtNPs to the electrode surface, which enhances the collision frequency from ∼0.02 pM(-1) s(-1) on UMEs to ∼0.07 pM(-1) s(-1) in microelectrochemical devices. We also show that the size of PtNPs can be measured in flowing systems using data from collision experiments and then validate this finding using multiphysics simulations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we report on the development of a high-efficiency, dual channel-electrode (DCE) generation-collection system and its application for interrogating redox-active surface-adsorbed thin films. DCE systems consist of two electrodes configured on the base of a microfluidic channel. Under laminar flow conditions, a redox reaction can be driven on the upstream generator electrode, and the products carried by convection to the downstream collector electrode where the reverse redox reaction occurs. One significant outcome of this report is that simple fabrication techniques can be used to prepare DCE systems that have collection efficiencies of up to 97%. This level of efficiency makes it possible to quantitatively measure the charge associated with redox-active thin films interposed between the generator and collector electrodes. This is important, because it provides a means for interrogating species that are not in sufficiently close proximity to an electrode to enable direct electron transfer or electroactive films adsorbed to insulating surfaces. Here, the method is demonstrated by comparing results from this indirect surface interrogation method, using Fe(CN)6(3-) as the redox probe, and direct electroreduction of Au oxide thin films. These experimental results are further compared to finite-element simulations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Membraneless desalination: A simple power supply is used to apply a 3.0 V potential bias across a microelectrochemical cell comprising two microchannels spanned by a single bipolar electrode (BPE) to drive chloride oxidation and water electrolysis at the BPE poles. The resulting ion depletion zone and associated electric field gradient direct ions into a branching microchannel, consequently producing desalted water. Gnd=ground.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a new type of paper analytical device that provides quantitative electrochemical output and detects concentrations as low as 767 fM. The model analyte is labeled with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), which provide 250 000-fold amplification. AgNPs eliminate the need for enzymatic amplification, thereby improving device stability and response time. The use of magnetic beads to preconcentrate the AgNPs at the detection electrode further improves sensitivity. Response time is improved by incorporation of a hollow channel, which increases the flow rate in the device by a factor of 7 and facilitates the use of magnetic beads. A key reaction necessary for label detection is made possible by the presence of a slip layer, a fluidic switch that can be actuated by manually slipping a piece of paper. The design of the device is versatile and should be useful for detection of proteins, nucleic acids, and microbes.