Quantitative Characterization of Methanol Oxidation Catalysis on Dealloyed NiCu Films

Student Author(s)

Matthew Milliken

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jennifer Hampton

Document Type


Event Date



The topic of catalytic nanoporous materials has seen a surge of interest in the past decade. With Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), the surface area, topography, and composition of these nanostructures can be characterized. The accessibility of these instruments has generated interest involving the interactive effects of surface topography and catalytic activity of binary alloys. The research conducted involved electrodepositing, dealloying, and characterizing various nickel-copper binary alloys on a Au substrate for methanol oxidation applications. By dealloying copper out of a NiCu alloy using Controlled Potential Electrolysis (CPE), a highsurface area nanoporous material was fabricated. The composition and capacitance of the NiCu alloys (before and after the dealloying step) were characterized via SEM/EDS, and Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) respectively. Utilizing Chronoamperometry (CA), the oxidation of methanol was analyzed before and after dealloying to determine whether porosity enhanced the catalytic efficiency.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSFRUI Grant No. DMR-1104725, NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-0959282, NSF-REU Grant No. PHY/DMR-1004811, and the Hope College Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences.

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