• amine borane;
  • graphene;
  • hydrogen storage;
  • nanoparticles;
  • trimetallic core–shell systems


Trimetallic core–shell Cu@CoNi nanoparticles (NPs) supported on graphene with different compositions are synthesized through a one-step in situ reduction process by using methylamine borane (MeAB) as a reducing agent. The as-synthesized Cu-core/CoNi-shell NPs are well dispersed on graphene. Among the catalysts studied, Cu0.1@Co0.45Ni0.45/graphene displays the highest catalytic performance toward the hydrolysis of ammonia borane (AB), with a turnover frequency (TOF) value of 15.46 mol H2 min−1(mol catalyst)−1, which is higher than those of most reported non-noble-metal-based NPs, and even higher than many noble-metal-based NPs. Additionally, the as-synthesized Cu0.1@Co0.45Ni0.45/graphene NPs reduced by MeAB exhibit a higher catalytic activity than those reduced by NaBH4 and AB. Furthermore, the as-prepared NPs have good durability and magnetic recyclability for the hydrolytic dehydrogenation of AB and MeAB.