Research ArticleChemistry

Cyclodextrin polymer networks decorated with subnanometer metal nanoparticles for high-performance low-temperature catalysis

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Science Advances  01 Nov 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 11, eaax6976
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax6976


The synthesis of support materials with suitable coordination sites and confined structures for the controlled growth of ultrasmall metal nanoparticles is of great importance in heterogeneous catalysis. Here, by rational design of a cross-linked β-cyclodextrin polymer network (CPN), various metal nanoparticles (palladium, silver, platinum, gold, and rhodium) of subnanometer size (<1 nm) and narrow size distribution are formed via a mild and facile procedure. The presence of the metal coordination sites and the network structure are key to the successful synthesis and stabilization of the ultrasmall metal nanoparticles. The as-prepared CPN, loaded with palladium nanoparticles, is used as a heterogeneous catalyst and shows outstanding catalytic performance in the hydrogenation of nitro compounds and Suzuki-Miyaura coupling reaction under mild conditions. The CPN support works synergistically with the metal nanoparticles, achieving high catalytic activity and selectivity. In addition, the catalytic activity of the formed catalyst is controllable.

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