Carbon Supported Metal Catalyst


Executive Summary

Metal based catalysts are used in a myriad of applications in chemical processing, waste exhaust treatment and others. The metals themselves can be extremely expensive and thus optimizing their effectiveness while minimizing use is critical. MSU researchers have developed a new method for producing nanoparticles of noble and transition metals that are well dispersed and attached to carbon support surfaces that can be useful in different applications. This method produces metal nanoparticles from a metal precursor onto a substrate in an ionic liquid utilizing microwave heating. The resulting compositions are useful as catalysts for chemical reactions, fuel cell, supercapacitor and battery components, and the like.


Description of the Technology

The present invention relates to a method for producing nanoparticles of metal deposited on a carbon surface. The carbon may be graphite particles, graphene nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, carbon fibers or buckyballs with at least one dimension less than 100 nm.  The method requires a substrate immersed in a solution of an ionic liquid in a reducing solvent, such as ethylene glycol, containing a precursor of the desired metal and exposing the metal precursor in the ionic liquid to microwaves resulting in the reduction of the metal precursor to nanoparticles of the metal which are deposited on the substrate. Metals deposited on the carbon include noble metals such as platinum alone or in combination with transition metals. Experiments have been conducted with platinum, ruthenium, palladium, gold and iron.



  • Dispersed metal noble and transition metal nanoparticles dispersed and adhering to carbon surfaces
  • Nanosized catalyst noble and transition metal catalyst particles 



  • Industrial catalysts
  • Electro catalysts


Patent Status

Issued US Patent US 9,545,670


Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available



Carbon Journal Article, 2014

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces article, 2014



Dr. Lawrence Drzal, Dr. Hiroyuki Fukushima, Dr. Inhwan Do





Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University