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Keywords:

  • chromium;
  • environmental chemistry;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • quinodimethanes;
  • reduction

Abstract

The formation of readily recoverable and reusable organic semiconducting Cu- and AgTCNQ (TCNQ=7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane) microstructures decorated with Pt and Pd metallic nanoparticles is described for the effective reduction of CrVI ions in aqueous solution at room temperature using both formic acid and an environmentally friendly thiosulfate reductant. The M-TCNQ (M=metal) materials were formed by electrocrystallisation onto a glassy carbon surface followed by galvanic replacement in the presence of H2PtCl6 or PdCl2 to form the composite material. It was found that loading of the surface with nanoparticles could easily be controlled by changing the metal salt concentration. Significantly, the M-TCNQ substrates facilitated the formation of well-isolated metal nanoparticles on their surfaces under appropriate galvanic replacement conditions. The semiconductor–metal nanoparticle combination was also found to be critical to the catalyst performance, wherein the best-performing material was CuTCNQ modified by well-isolated Pt nanoparticles with both formic acid and thiosulfate ions as the reductant.