Our group identified the key role of the composition of the PdCu nanoparticles in Nitrobenzene hydrogenation reaction. The finding was published in J. Colloid Interf. Sci.
TEM images of Pd80Cu20 catalyst. (Image by Shuang Liu)
A series of PdxCu100–x (x = 20, 40, 60, 80) particles with the sizes of 7–9 nm were fabricated by a two-step polyol reduction process, which differentiated the nucleation and growth steps of the nanoparticles. The releasing oleylamine, previously coordinated with metal cations, acted as the capping agent to segregate the nanoparticles.
We find that Pd80Cu20 nanoparticles showed quite promising activity and selectivity for the hydrogenation of nitrobenzene under mild conditions, which originates from a synergetic interaction between Pd and Cu, favoring for the activation of hydrogen molecular on Pd and adsorption of nitrobenzene on Cu.
This result extends the fundamental understanding of the composition effect in nanocatalysis and provides a promising strategy for synthesis of highly active bimetallic catalysts.
The research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China.（Text by Shuang Liu）