A method of preparing a precious metal nitride nanoparticle composition, includes the step of ionizing nitrogen in the gas phase to create an active nitrogen species as a plasma. An atomic metal species of the precious metal is provided in the gas phase. The active nitrogen species in the gas phase is contacted with the atomic metal species of the precious metal in the gas phase to form a precious metal nitride. The precious metal nitride is deposited on the support. Precious metal nanoparticle compositions are also disclosed.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 This invention was made with government support under contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.