Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 3;12(1):18560. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-22928-0.
We present here a scalable and environmentally friendly gas phase technique employing atmospheric pressure electrical spark discharge plasmas for the production of Au/Co binaries, an effective catalyst system for the decomposition of hydrogen-rich compounds, such as ammonium borane. We demonstrate that Au/Co alloy nanoparticles can be produced via the spark plasma-based technique. The possibility of varying the morphology and phase structure via real time heat treatment of the generated aerosol to form Au/Co/CoO particles with continuous control over a wide particle compositional range (from 24 to 64 at.% [Co]/([Co] + [Au]) content) is also demonstrated. Since our spark-based approach is proven to be capable of providing reasonable particle yields, these results may contribute to the transition of lab-scale, nanocatalyst-based hydrogen storage systems to real world applications.