Deep Eutectic Solvent Approach Towards Nickel/Nickel Nitride Nanocomposites

Samuel H. Gage, Daniel A. Ruddy, Svitlana Pylypenko, Ryan M. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus Citations


Nickel nitride is an attractive material for a broad range of applications including catalysis. However preparations and especially those targeting nanoscale particles remain a major challenge. Herein, we report a wet-chemical approach to produce nickel/nickel nitride nanocomposites using deep eutectic solvents. A choline chloride/urea deep eutectic solvent was used as a reaction medium to form gels containing nickel acetate tetrahydrate. Heat treatment of the gel in inert atmosphere forms nanoparticles embedded within a nitrogen-doped carbon matrix. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential thermal analysis (DTA) were used to understand the decomposition profile of the precursors and to select pyrolysis temperatures located in regions of thermal stability. X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed the presence of metallic nickel, whereas X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) suggested the existence of a nickel nitride surface layer. According to transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis these mixed phase, possibly core-shell type nanoparticles, have very defined facets. These materials represent a unique opportunity to tune catalytic properties of nickel-based catalysts through control of their composition, surface structure, and morphology; in addition to employing potential benefits of a nitrogen-doped carbon support.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalCatalysis Today
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-67892


  • Deep eutectic solvents
  • Nanocomposites
  • Nickel
  • Nickel nitride
  • Nitrogen-doped carbon supports
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy


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