Natl Sci Rev. 2022 May 25;10(1):nwac100. doi: 10.1093/nsr/nwac100. eCollection 2023 Jan.
Rational design and synthesis of catalytically active two-dimensional (2D) materials with an abundance of atomically precise active sites in their basal planes remains a great challenge. Here, we report a ligand exchange strategy to exfoliate bulk [Cu4(OH)6][O3S(CH2)4SO3] cuprate crystals into atomically thin 2D cuprate layers ([Cu2(OH)3]+). The basal plane of 2D cuprate layers contains periodic arrays of accessible unsaturated Cu(II) single sites (2D-CuSSs), which are found to promote efficient oxidative Chan-Lam coupling. Our mechanistic studies reveal that the reactions proceed via coordinatively unsaturated CuO4(II) single sites with the formation of Cu(I) species in the rate-limiting step, as corroborated by both operando experimental and theoretical studies. The robust stability of 2D-CuSSs in both batch and continuous flow reactions, coupled with their recyclability and good performance in complex molecule derivatization, render 2D-CuSSs attractive catalyst candidates for broad utility in fine chemical synthesis.
PMID:36879660 | PMC:PMC9985158 | DOI:10.1093/nsr/nwac100