Ligand-Controlled Co-reduction <i>versus</i> Electroless Co-deposition: Synthesis of Nanodendrites with Spatially Defined Bimetallic Distributions

The predictable synthesis of bimetallic nanostructures <i>via</i> co-reduction of two metal precursors is challenging due to our limited understanding of precursor ligand effects. Here, the influence of different metal–ligand environments is systematically examined in the synthesis of Pd–Pt nanostructures as a model bimetallic system. Nanodendrites with different spatially defined Pd–Pt compositions are achieved, where the local ligand environments of metal precursors dictate if temporally separated co-reduction dominates to achieve core–shell nanostructures or whether electroless co-deposition proceeds to facilitate alloyed nanostructure formation. As the properties of bimetallic nanomaterials depend on crystal ordering and composition, chemical routes to structurally defined bimetallic nanomaterials are critically needed. The approaches reported here should be applicable to other bimetallic compositions given the established reactivity of coordination complexes available for use as precursors.