It was found that sonochemically prepared metal particles such as Ag, Pd, Au, Pt and Rh are of nanometer size with a fairly narrow distribution (e.g., about 5 nm for Pd particles obtained from a 1.0 mM Pd(II) in polyethylene glycol monostearate solution). We have suggested three different reduction pathways under sonication: (i) reduction by H atoms, (ii) reduction by secondary reducing radicals formed by hydrogen abstraction from organic additives with OH radicals and H atoms, (iii) reduction by radicals formed from pyrolysis of the additives at the interfacial region between cavitation bubbles and the bulk solution. The reduction of Ag(I) and Pt(II) mainly proceeds through reaction pathway (ii). In the cases of Pd(II) and Au(III), the reductions mainly proceed through reaction pathway (iii). The reduction of Rh(III) was not achieved under the same conditions; however, by the addition of sodium formate, reduction occurred and the preparation of Rh particles succeeded.
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