Catalyst Surface Modification for Selective Styrene Oxidation

Catalyst Surface Modification for Selective Styrene Oxidation

Author: ChemNanoMat

The selective catalytic oxidation of styrene into styrene oxide and benzaldehyde has attracted widespread interest. Both compounds have applications in various fields such as agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. However, it remains challenging to develop highly active and selective catalysts for the oxidation of styrene with O2 under mild conditions.

Ran Long, Yujie Xiong, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, and colleagues have developed a catalyst for the selective styrene oxidation based on surface lattice engineering. The team sparsely deposited Au atoms on the surface of Pd concave nanostructures (pictured). The activation degree of adsorbed O2 can be tuned by tailoring the concentration of Au atoms on the surface. This suppresses the formation of over-oxidized byproducts. Interestingly, the nanostructures could harvest light to drive the reactions through a plasmonic photothermal effect.

The designed catalyst achieves high product selectivity in the aerobic oxidation of styrene with ambient O2. This result provides insights into rationally designing catalysts for selective oxidation reactions with molecular oxygen under mild conditions.


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