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Chemistry. 2010 Mar 22;16(12):3849-58. doi: 10.1002/chem.200903214.

Microwave irradiation for the facile synthesis of transition-metal nanoparticles (NPs) in ionic liquids (ILs) from metal-carbonyl precursors and Ru-, Rh-, and Ir-NP/IL dispersions as biphasic liquid-liquid hydrogenation nanocatalysts for cyclohexene.

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Institut für Anorganische und Analytische Chemie, Universität Freiburg, Albertstrasse 21, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.


Stable chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, manganese, rhenium, ruthenium, osmium, cobalt, rhodium, and iridium metal nanoparticles (M-NPs) have been reproducibly obtained by facile, rapid (3 min), and energy-saving 10 W microwave irradiation (MWI) under an argon atmosphere from their metal-carbonyl precursors [M(x)(CO)(y)] in the ionic liquid (IL) 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([BMIm][BF(4)]). This MWI synthesis is compared to UV-photolytic (1000 W, 15 min) or conventional thermal decomposition (180-250 degrees C, 6-12 h) of [M(x)(CO)(y)] in ILs. The MWI-obtained nanoparticles have a very small (<5 nm) and uniform size and are prepared without any additional stabilizers or capping molecules as long-term stable M-NP/IL dispersions (characterization by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), transmission electron diffraction (TED), and dynamic light scattering (DLS)). The ruthenium, rhodium, or iridium nanoparticle/IL dispersions are highly active and easily recyclable catalysts for the biphasic liquid-liquid hydrogenation of cyclohexene to cyclohexane with activities of up to 522 (mol product) (mol Ru)(-1) h(-1) and 884 (mol product) (mol Rh)(-1) h(-1) and give almost quantitative conversion within 2 h at 10 bar H(2) and 90 degrees C. Catalyst poisoning experiments with CS(2) (0.05 equiv per Ru) suggest a heterogeneous surface catalysis of Ru-NPs.


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