Nanoporous carbon supported metal particles: their synthesis and characterisation

  • Yunxia Yang
  • Liangguang Tang
  • Nick Burke
  • Ken Chiang
Research Paper


In the current work, a simplified hard templating approach is used to synthesise metal (Ag, Rh, Ir and Pt) containing structured carbon. The target metals are first introduced into the NaY zeolite template by wetness impregnation. The metals are carried in the super cages of the zeolite and subsequently embedded in the final structures after the steps of carbonisation and the template removal. Scanning electron microscopy images have confirmed that the carbon structures produced by this method retain the morphology of the original template. Transmission electron microscopy reveals the presence of dispersed metal particles in all the carbon structures produced. The metal loadings in these templated structures can reach 35 wt% without significant losses of surface areas and pore volumes. Selected carbon supported metals are tested for their catalytic activity for the methanation of carbon monoxide. The finding suggested that this method is effective in preparing metal nanoparticles for use as catalysts.


Carbon supported catalysts Templated carbon Structured carbon Dispersed metal nanoparticles 



The authors are grateful for CSIRO and Monash University for providing financial support. Author Y.-X. Yang thanks for the work conducted under the PhD supervision by Professor Paul A. Webley and Professor Dongyuan Zhao at the Department of Chemical Engineering in Monash University in Australia.


  1. Ago H, Ohdo R, Tsuji M, Ikuta T, Takahashi K (2010) Effective patterning of metal nanoparticles on sapphire surface for aligned growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 10:3867–3872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baumann TF, Satcher JH (2003) Homogeneous incorporation of metal nanoparticles into ordered macroporous carbons. Chem Mat 15:3745–3747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chao KJ, Chang YP, Chen YC, Lo AS, Phan TH (2006) Morphology of nanostructured platinum in mesoporous materials—effect of solvent and intrachannel surface. J Phys Chem B 110:1638–1646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cheng JP, Zhang XB, Ye Y, Tu JP, Liu F, Tao XY, Geise HJ, Tendeloo GV (2005) Production of carbon nanotubes with marine manganese nodule as a versatile catalyst. Micropor Mesopor Mater 81:73–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Choi WC, Woo SI, Jeon MK, Sohn JM, Kim MR, Jeon HJ (2005) Platinum nanoclusters studded in the microporous nanowalls of ordered mesoporous carbon. Adv Mater 17:446–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coker EN, Steen WA, Miller JT, Kropf AJ, Miller JE (2007) Nanostructured Pt/C electrocatalysts with high platinum dispersions through zeolite-templating. Micropor Mesopor Mater 101:440–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ding J, Chan KY, Ren JW, Xiao FS (2005) Platinum and platinum-ruthenium nanoparticles supported on ordered mesoporous carbon and their electrocatalytic performance for fuel cell reactions. Electrochim Acta 50:3131–3141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Djinovic P, Galletti C, Specchia S, Specchia V (2011) Ru-based catalysts for CO selective methanation reaction in H2-rich gases. Catal Today 164:282–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eckle S, Anfang HG, Behm RJ (2010) What drives the selectivity for CO methanation in the methanation of CO2-rich reformate gases on supported Ru catalysts? Appl Catal A Gen 391:325–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fang BZ, Kim JH, Kim M, Yu JS (2009) Ordered hierarchical nanostructured carbon as a highly efficient cathode catalyst support in proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Chem Mater 21:789–796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Georgakilas V, Gournis D, Tzitzios V, Pasquato L, Guldi DM, Prato M (2007) Decorating carbon nanotubes with metal or semiconductor nanoparticles. J Mater Chem 17:2679–2694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Giraudet S, Zhu Z (2010) Hydrogen adsorption in nitrogen enriched ordered mesoporous carbons doped with nickel nanoparticles. Carbon 49:398–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Henley SJ, Watts PCP, Mureau N, Silva SRP (2008) Laser-induced decoration of carbon nanotubes with metal nanoparticles. Appl Phys A Mater Sci Process 93:875–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jimenez V, Sanchez P, Panagiotopoulou P, Valverde JL, Romero A (2010) Methanation of CO, CO2 and selective methanation of CO, in mixtures of CO and CO2, over ruthenium carbon nanofibers catalysts. Appl Catal A Gen 390:35–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Joo SH, Choi SJ, Oh I, Kwak J, Liu Z, Terasaki O, Ryoo R (2001) Ordered nanoporous arrays of carbon supporting high dispersions of platinum nanoparticles. Nature 412:169–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kim JH, Fang B, Kim MS, Yoon SB, Bae TS, Ranade DR, Yu JS (2011) Facile synthesis of bimodal porous silica and multimodal porous carbon as an anode catalyst support in proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Electrochim Acta 55:7628–7633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kyotani T (2006) Synthesis of various types of nano carbons using the template technique. Bull Chem Soc Jpn 79:1322–1337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lim S, Wang C, Yang Y, Ciuparu D, Pfefferle L, Haller GL (2007) Evidence for anchoring and partial occlusion of metallic clusters on the pore walls of MCM-41 and effect on the stability of the metallic clusters. Catal Today 123:122–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lin ML, Lo MY, Mou CY (2011) PtRuP nanoparticles supported on mesoporous carbon thin film as highly active anode materials for direct methanol fuel cell. Catal Today 160:109–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liu B, Creager S (2009) Silica-sol-templated mesoporous carbon as catalyst support for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell applications. Electrochim Acta 55:2721–2726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ma ZX, Kyotani T, Tomita A (2002) Synthesis methods for preparing microporous carbons with a structural regularity of zeolite Y. Carbon 40:2367–2374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nishihara H, Hou PX, Li LX, Ito M, Uchiyama M, Kaburagi T, Ikura A, Katamura J, Kawarada T, Mizuuchi K, Kyotani T (2009) High-pressure hydrogen storage in zeolite-templated carbon. J Phys Chem C 113:3189–3196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pyrzynska K, Bystrzejewski M (2010) Comparative study of heavy metal ions sorption onto activated carbon, carbon nanotubes, and carbon-encapsulated magnetic nanoparticles. Colloid Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp 362:102–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Qu JY, Chen HJ, Dong SJ (2008) In situ fabrication of noble metal nanoparticles modified multiwalled carbon nanotubes and related electrocatalysis. Electroanalysis 20:2410–2415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Raghuveer V, Manthiram A (2005) Mesoporous carbons with controlled porosity as an electrocatalytic support for methanol oxidation. J Electrochem Soc 152:A1504–A1510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ryoo R, Joo SH, Kruk M, Jaroniec M (2001) Ordered mesoporous carbons. Adv Mater 13:677–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Somani PR, Somani SP, Umeno M (2008) Application of metal nanoparticles decorated carbon nanotubes in photovoltaics. Appl Phys Lett 93:3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stein A, Wang ZY, Fierke MA (2009) Functionalization of porous carbon materials with designed pore architecture. Adv Mater 21:265–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Su FB, Zeng JH, Bao XY, Yu YS, Lee JY, Zhao XS (2005) Preparation and characterization of highly ordered graphitic mesoporous carbon as a Pt catalyst support for direct methanol fuel cells. Chem Mater 17:3960–3967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Takagi H, Hatori H, Yamada Y, Matsuo S, Shiraishi M (2004) Hydrogen adsorption properties of activated carbons with modified surfaces. J Alloys Compd 385:257–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vengatesan S, Kim HJ, Kim SK, Oh IH, Lee SY, Cho E, Ha HY, Lim TH (2008) High dispersion platinum catalyst using mesoporous carbon support for fuel cells. Electrochim Acta 54:856–861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wan Y, Shi YF, Zhao DY (2008) Supramolecular aggregates as templates: ordered mesoporous polymers and carbons. Chem Mater 20:932–945CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wang CF, Guo SJ, Pan XL, Chen W, Bao XH (2008) Tailored cutting of carbon nanotubes and controlled dispersion of metal nanoparticles inside their channels. J Mater Chem 18:5782–5786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang ZL, Liu RX, Zhao FY, Liu XJ, Lv MF, Meng J (2010) Facile synthesis of porous Fe7Co3/carbon nanocomposites and their applications as magnetically separable adsorber and catalyst support. Langmuir 26:10135–10140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Xia WJ, Meng LJ, Liu L, Lu QH (2010) Carbon nanotubes decorated with noble metal nanoparticles. Prog Chem 22:2298–2308Google Scholar
  36. Yang YX, Rosalie J, Bourgeois L, Webley PA (2008a) Bulk synthesis of carbon nanostructures: Hollow stacked-cone-helices by chemical vapor deposition. Mater Res Bull 43:2368–2373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yang YX, Singh RK, Webley PA (2008b) Hydrogen adsorption in transition metal carbon nano-structures. Adsorpt J Int Adsorpt Soc 14:265–274Google Scholar
  38. Yang YX, Bourgeois L, Zhao CX, Zhao DY, Chaffee A, Webley PA (2009) Ordered micro-porous carbon molecular sieves containing well-dispersed platinum nanoparticles for hydrogen storage. Micropor Mesopor Mater 119:39–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yang YX, Brown CM, Zhao CX, Chaffee AL, Nick B, Zhao DY, Webley PA, Schalch J, Simmons JM, Liu Y, Her JH, Buckley CE, Sheppard DA (2011) Micro-channel development and hydrogen adsorption properties in templated microporous carbons containing platinum nanoparticles. Carbon 49:1305–1317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yürüm Y, Taralp A, Veziroglu TN (2009) Storage of hydrogen in nanostructured carbon materials. Int J Hydrogen Energy 34:3784–3798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zakhidov AA, Baughman RH, Iqbal Z, Cui CX, Khayrullin I, Dantas SO, Marti I, Ralchenko VG (1998) Carbon structures with three-dimensional periodicity at optical wavelengths. Science 282:897–901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhao CX, Yang YX, Long X, Webley P, Chen W (2011) Electrochemical characterization of ordered microporous carbons containing well-dispersed platinum nanoparticles. In: Chu PKI (ed) Inec: 2010 3rd international nanoelectronics conference, vols 1 and 2. IEEE, New York. pp 204–205Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunxia Yang
    • 1
  • Liangguang Tang
    • 1
  • Nick Burke
    • 1
  • Ken Chiang
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Earth Science and Resource EngineeringMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations