Nanoparticles made from platinum-group metals (PGMs) have demonstrated effectiveness as inorganic, artificial peroxidase mimics. These artificial enzymes boast several advantages over natural peroxidases, including superior catalytic efficiency, chemothermal stability, and cost effectiveness. PGM nanoparticles are therefore increasingly coming into use over protein-based enzymes across a variety of sectors, including public health, medical diagnostics, environmental protection, and automotive manufacturing. However, the full range of PGM nanoparticles with potential for these applications have not yet been systematically compared. Such a comparison will be significantly beneficial to future design of PGM nanoparticles, and their optimization as catalysts for industry.

The present study aims to address this need through the systematic characterization and analysis of one type of PGM nanoparticle. Research of this type will greatly improve the future effectiveness of similar particles within their respective applications. In particular, this work focuses on palladium (Pd), a metal with an extensive history of use as an inorganic catalyst of organic reactions. The first phase of the study focuses on development of a reliable method for synthesis of Pd nanoparticles smaller than 10 nm, beginning with accepted procedures for the development of similar particles. The second involves a thorough characterization of the particles, using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for elemental composition, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for morphology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) for confirmation of surface facets, infrared spectroscopy (IRS) for confirmation of citrate surface ligand, and high-resolution TEM for single crystal structure. In the third phase, the particles will be tested for catalytic activity as artificial peroxidases in the oxidation of 3,3’,5,5’-tetramethylbenzadine (TMB) by hydrogen peroxide.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Xia, Xiaohu


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Undergraduate Studies

Degree Program

Interdisciplinary Studies



Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Release Date