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Dealloying strategy to fabricate ultrafine nanoporous gold-based alloys with high structural stability and tunable magnetic properties
In the present work, the dealloying of Al–Au-based precursors and formation of nanoporous Au-based alloys have been investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. The results show that the addition of Ni and/or Co has no influence on phase constitution of rapidly solidified Al–Au–M (M = Ni, Co, or Ni/Co) alloys and a single-phase Al2(Au,M) intermetallic compound can be identified in these ternary and quarternary precursor alloys. The Al–Au-based precursors can be fully dealloyed in an alkaline solution under free corrosion conditions, and the dealloying results in the formation of novel ultrafine nanoporous Au-based alloys (Au(Ni), Au(Co) and Au(Ni,Co)) with ligaments/channels of ∼5 nm. The ultrafine nanoporous Au-based alloys possess extraordinarily high structural stability against thermal annealing. Moreover, due to the intrinsic magnetism of Ni and Co, the addition of Ni and/or Co leads to the formation of novel magnetic nanoporous alloys. The dealloying mechanism of these Al–Au-based precursors has been discussed based upon surface diffusion of Au adatoms and interaction between Au and additional elements. The present findings provide a new dealloying route to fabricate ultrafine nanoporous Au-based alloys with high stability and magnetic properties through alloy design of precursors.