On account of their novel properties, bimetallic nanoparticles and nanoclusters (NCs) are strong potential candidates for optical, magnetic, and catalytic functional materials. These properties depend on the chemical composition and size (number of constituent atoms) of the NCs. Control of size, structure, and composition is particularly important for fabricating highly functional materials based on bimetallic NCs. Size- and structure-controlled synthesis of two-element alloys can reveal their intrinsic electronic synergistic effects. However, because synergistic enhancement of activity is strongly affected by composition as well as by size and structure, controlled synthesis is a challenging task, particularly in catalytic applications. To investigate catalytic synergistic effects, we have synthesized highly monodisperse, sub-2 nm, solid-solution AuPd NCs stabilized with poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (AuPd:PVP) using a newly developed ultrafine microfluidic mixing device with 15 m wide multiple lamination channels. The synergistic enhancement for catalytic aerobic oxidation of benzyl alcohol exhibited a volcano-shaped trend, with a maximum at 20-65 at. % Pd. From X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic measurements, we confirmed that the enhanced activity originates from the enhanced electron density at the Au sites, donated by Pd sites.
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