Facile and Eco-Friendly Approach To Produce Confined Metal Cluster Catalysts

Publication Name

Journal of the American Chemical Society


Zeolite-supported metal nanocluster catalysts have attracted significant attention due to their broad application in heterogeneously catalyzed reactions. The preparation of highly dispersed metal catalysts commonly involves the use of organic compounds and requires the implementation of complicated procedures, which are neither green nor deployable at the large scale. Herein, we present a novel facile method (vacuum-heating) which employs a specific thermal vacuum processing protocol of catalysts to promote the decomposition of metal precursors. The removal of coordinated H2O via vacuum-heating restricts the formation of intermediates (metal-bound OH species), resulting in catalysts with a uniform, metal nanocluster distribution. The structure of the intermediate was determined by in situ Fourier transform infrared, temperature-programmed decomposition, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) measurements. This alternative synthesis method is eco-friendly and cost-effective as the procedure occurs in the absence of organic compounds. It can be widely used for the preparation of catalysts from different metal species (Ni, Fe, Cu, Co, Zn) and precursors and is readily scaled-up.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)