High-throughput, combinatorial synthesis of multimetallic nanoclusters

Yonggang Yao, Zhennan Huang, Tangyuan Li, Hang Wang, Yifan Liu, Helge S. Stein, Yimin Mao, Jinlong Gao, Miaolun Jiao, Qi Dong, Jiaqi Dai, Pengfei Xie, Hua Xie, Steven D. Lacey, Ichiro Takeuchi, John M. Gregoire, Rongzhong Jiang, Chao Wang, Andre D. Taylor, Reza Shahbazian-YassarLiangbing Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multimetallic nanoclusters (MMNCs) offer unique and tailorable surface chemistries that hold great potential for numerous catalytic applications. The efficient exploration of this vast chemical space necessitates an accelerated discovery pipeline that supersedes traditional “trial-and-error” experimentation while guaranteeing uniform microstructures despite compositional complexity. Herein, we report the high-throughput synthesis of an extensive series of ultrafine and homogeneous alloy MMNCs, achieved by 1) a flexible compositional design by formulation in the precursor solution phase and 2) the ultrafast synthesis of alloy MMNCs using thermal shock heating (i.e., ∼1,650 K, ∼500 ms). This approach is remarkably facile and easily accessible compared to conventional vapor-phase deposition, and the particle size and structural uniformity enable comparative studies across compositionally different MMNCs. Rapid electrochemical screening is demonstrated by using a scanning droplet cell, enabling us to discover two promising electrocatalysts, which we subsequently validated using a rotating disk setup. This demonstrated high-throughput material discovery pipeline presents a paradigm for facile and accelerated exploration of MMNCs for a broad range of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6316-6322
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 24 2020


  • Combinatorial
  • High-throughput synthesis
  • Multimetallic nanoclusters
  • Oxygen reduction reaction
  • Thermal shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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