Visible light enhanced oxidant free dehydrogenation of aromatic alcohols using Au-Pd alloy nanoparticle catalysts

Sarina, Sarina, Bai, Sagala, Huang, Yiming, Chen, Chao, Jia, Jianfeng, Jaatinen, Esa, Ayoko, Godwin, Zhaorigetu, Bao, & Zhu, Huai Yong (2014) Visible light enhanced oxidant free dehydrogenation of aromatic alcohols using Au-Pd alloy nanoparticle catalysts. Green Chemistry, 16(1), pp. 331-341.

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We find that visible light irradiation of gold–palladium alloy nanoparticles supported on photocatalytically inert ZrO2 significantly enhances their catalytic activity for oxidant-free dehydrogenation of aromatic alcohols to the corresponding aldehydes at ambient temperatures. Dehydrogenation is also the dominant process in the selective oxidation of the alcohols to the corresponding aldehydes with molecular oxygen. The alloy nanoparticles strongly absorb light and exhibit superior catalytic and photocatalytic activity when compared to either pure palladium or gold nanoparticles. Analysis with a free electron gas model for the bulk alloy structure reveals that the alloying increases the surface charge heterogeneity on the alloy particle surface, which enhances the interaction between the alcohol molecules and the metal NPs. The increased surface charge heterogeneity of the alloy particles is confirmed with density function theory applied to small alloy clusters. Optimal catalytic activity was observed with a Au : Pd molar ratio of 1 : 186, which is in good agreement with the theoretical analysis. The rate-determining step of the dehydrogenation is hydrogen abstraction. The conduction electrons of the nanoparticles are photo-excited by the incident light giving them the necessary energy to be injected into the adsorbed alcohol molecules, promoting the hydrogen abstraction. The strong chemical adsorption of alcohol molecules facilitates this electron transfer. The results show that the alloy nanoparticles efficiently couple thermal and photonic energy sources to drive the dehydrogenation. These findings provide useful insight into the design of catalysts that utilize light for various organic syntheses at ambient temperatures.

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33 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 88632
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1039/C3GC41866A
ISSN: 1463-9262
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry
Deposited On: 04 Nov 2015 22:17
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 21:01

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