APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Industrial catalysis
- Development of artificial photosynthesis
- Multiple-step chemical reactions
- Enables reactions requiring multiple, sequential catalytic reactions
Peidong Yang, Gabor Somorjai and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have developed a new class of nanocrystal tandem catalysts that have multiple metal–metal oxide interfaces for the catalysis of sequential reactions. This new concept of nanocrystal tandem catalysis represents a powerful approach towards designing high-performance, multifunctional nanostructured catalysts.
The technology utilizes a nanocrystal bilayer structure formed by assembling platinum and cerium oxide nanocube monolayers of less than 10 nm on a silica substrate. The two distinct metal–metal oxide interfaces, CeO2–Pt and Pt–SiO2, can be used to catalyze two distinct sequential reactions. The CeO2–Pt interface catalyzed methanol decomposition to produce CO and H2, which were subsequently used for ethylene hydroformylation catalyzed by the nearby Pt–SiO2 interface. Consequently, propanal was produced selectively from methanol and ethylene on the nanocrystal bilayer tandem catalyst.
Supported catalysts are widely used in industry and can be optimized by tuning the composition and interface of the metal nanoparticles and oxide supports. Rational design of metal–metal oxide interfaces in nanostructured catalysts is critical to achieve better reaction activities and selectivities.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Yamada, Y., Tsung, C.-K., Huang, W., Huo, Z., Habas, S. E., Soejima, T., Aliaga, C.E., Somorjai, G.A., Yang, P. “Nanocrystal biolayer for tandem catalysis,” Nature Chemistry, April 10, 2011. Supporting material.
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REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-3041