Block copolymer lithography of rhodium nanoparticles for high temperature electrocatalysis

David A. Boyd*, Yong Hao, Changyi Li, David G. Goodwin, Sossina M. Haile

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We present a method for forming ordered rhodium nanostructures on a solid support. The approach makes use of a block copolymer to create and assemble rhodium chloride nanoparticles from solution onto a surface; subsequent plasma and thermal processing are employed to remove the polymer and fully convert the nanostructures to metallic rhodium. Films cast from a solution of the triblock copolymer poly(styrene-b-2-vinyl pyridine-b-ethylene oxide) dissolved in toluene with rhodium(III) chloride hydrate were capable of producing a monolayer of rhodium nanoparticles of uniform size and interparticle spacing. The nanostructures were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. The electrocatalytic performance of the nanoparticles was investigated with AC impedance spectroscopy. We observed that the addition of the particles to a model solid oxide fuel cell anode provided up to a 14-fold improvement in the anode activity as evidenced by a decrease in the AC impedance resistance. Examination of the anode after electrochemical measurement revealed that the basic morphology and distribution of the particles were preserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4919-4923
Number of pages5
JournalACS nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 25 2013


  • anode
  • block copolymer lithography
  • catalysis
  • micelle encapsulation
  • rhodium
  • solid-oxide fuel cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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