Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS); Intermetallic nanoalloys; Nanocomposites Calibration-free; Quantitative analysis;OXYGEN REDUCTION REACTION; PLASMA-MASS SPECTROMETRY; BIFUNCTIONAL ELECTROCATALYSTS; OXIDE NANOPARTICLES; EVOLUTION REACTIONS; ABLATION SYNTHESIS; CATALYTIC-ACTIVITY; AEROSOL-PARTICLES; ALLOY; COBALT
Intermetallic nanoalloys (NAs) and nanocomposites (NCs) have increasingly gained prominence as efficient catalytic materials in electrochemical energy conversion and storage systems. But their morphology and chemical compositions play critical role in tuning their catalytic activities, and precious metal contents. While advanced microscopy techniques facilitate morphological characterizations, traditional chemical characterizations are either qualitative or extremely involved. In this study, we apply Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for quantitative compositional analysis of NAs and NCs synthesized with varied elemental ratios by our in-house built pulsed laser ablation technique. Specifically, elemental ratios of binary PtNi, PdCo (NAs) and PtCo (NCs) of different compositions are determined from LIBS measurements employing an internal calibration scheme using the bulk matrix species as internal standards. Morphology and qualitative elemental compositions of the aforesaid NAs and NCs are confirmed from Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) images and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) measurements. LIBS experiments are carried out in ambient conditions with the NA and NC samples drop cast on silicon wafers after centrifugation to increase their concentrations. The technique does not call for cumbersome sample preparations including acid digestions and external calibration standards commonly required in Inductively Coupled Plasma -Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) techniques. Yet the quantitative LIBS results are in good agreement with the results from ICP-OES measurements. Our results indicate the feasibility of using LIBS in future for rapid and in situ quantitative chemical characterizations of wide classes of synthesized NM and NCs.