Back to overview

Electrochemical process to prepare metal nanoparticles or metal oxide nanoparticles

Scientists at Leiden University have developed a simple, efficient, robust, cheap and fast method of producing nanoparticles of a wide variety of metals with high catalytic activity.

It creates small, clean, highly pure and active nanoparticles that are directly usable as catalysts.

Catalytically active metal or metal oxide nanoparticles have lately taken a key role in the industry by finding applications in several different industrial processes and reactions ranging from hydrocracking or reforming to oxidations of either methanol or carbon monoxide. Other applications are in electrochemical sensors, anti-microbial devices, electronics, optics, biomedicine, etc.

However, all known methods developed and used to make nanoparticles rely on addition of extra chemical stabilizers. The contamination of the final product by said chemicals affects the performance when used as catalyst or for biological applications. Another disadvantage of currently used production methods is the involvement of multiple synthetic steps, which make the process more expensive, longer and require specific expertise. Furthermore, making nanocatalysts from metal alloys is very difficult using conventional methods, our novel method is also directly usable for alloys.

Concluding, using our methodology will result in a process far more simple, robust, efficient and cheap since it does not require additional purification steps, but instead directly creates small, clean and active nanoparticles.

Key benefits

  • Method is simple, efficient, robust and cheap
  • The number of synthetic steps is minimized
  • The nanoparticles obtained from the process can be directly used as catalyst without any need for additional purification steps
  • Nano-alloys catalysts production extremely simplified
  • The nanoparticles produced through this method present higher catalytic activity than the best industrial sample


Production of metal nanoparticles or metal oxide nanoparticles

Development stage

  • Method has been tested on lab scale
  • The catalytic activity of the nanoparticles produced through this method has been tested for the oxidation of CO as well as small alcohols and has been shown to be significantly higher than the best industrial sample

Luris reference number


Patent status

For this technology a patent application has been filed in US, Europe, China and Japan

Data available on request

Patent text and publications