Grafting nanometer metal/oxide interface towards enhanced low-temperature acetylene semi-hydrogenation

Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 1;12(1):5770. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25984-8.

ABSTRACT

Metal/oxide interface is of fundamental significance to heterogeneous catalysis because the seemingly “inert” oxide support can modulate the morphology, atomic and electronic structures of the metal catalyst through the interface. The interfacial effects are well studied over a bulk oxide support but remain elusive for nanometer-sized systems like clusters, arising from the challenges associated with chemical synthesis and structural elucidation of such hybrid clusters. We hereby demonstrate the essential catalytic roles of a nanometer metal/oxide interface constructed by a hybrid Pd/Bi2O3 cluster ensemble, which is fabricated by a facile stepwise photochemical method. The Pd/Bi2O3 cluster, of which the hybrid structure is elucidated by combined electron microscopy and microanalysis, features a small Pd-Pd coordination number and more importantly a Pd-Bi spatial correlation ascribed to the heterografting between Pd and Bi terminated Bi2O3 clusters. The intra-cluster electron transfer towards Pd across the as-formed nanometer metal/oxide interface significantly weakens the ethylene adsorption without compromising the hydrogen activation. As a result, a 91% selectivity of ethylene and 90% conversion of acetylene can be achieved in a front-end hydrogenation process with a temperature as low as 44 °C.

PMID:34599160 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-021-25984-8

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