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ACS Nano. 2008 Dec 23;2(12):2547-53. doi: 10.1021/nn800400u.

Engineering preformed cobalt-doped platinum nanocatalysts for ultraselective hydrogenation.

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  • 1Wolfson Catalysis Centre, Inorganic Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K. edman.tsang@chem.ox.ac.uk


Bimetallic heterostructures are used as industrial catalysts for many important transformations. However, conventional catalysts are primarily prepared in cost-effective manners without much appreciation in metal size control and metal-metal interaction. By employing recent nanotechnology, Pt nanocrystals with tailored sizes can be decorated with Co atoms in a controlled manner in colloid solution as preformed nanocatalysts before they are applied on support materials. Thus, we show that the terminal CO hydrogenation can be achieved in high activity, while the undesirable hydrogenation of the CC group can be totally suppressed in the selective hydrogenation of alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehydes to unsaturated alcohols, when Co decorated Pt nanocrystals within a critical size range are used. This is achieved through blockage of unselective low coordination sites and the optimization in electronic influence of the Pt nanoparticle of appropriate size by the Co decoration. This work clearly demonstrates the advantage in engineering preformed nanoparticles via a bottom-up construction and illustrates that this route of catalyst design may lead to improved catalytic processes.

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