Facile synthesis of precious-metal single-site catalysts using organic solvents

Xi Sun, Simon R. Dawson, Tanja E. Parmentier, Grazia Malta, Thomas E. Davies, Qian He, Li Lu, David J. Morgan, Nicholas Carthey, Peter Johnston, Simon A. Kondrat, Simon J. Freakley, Christopher J. Kiely, Graham J. Hutchings

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Single-site catalysts can demonstrate high activity and selectivity in many catalytic reactions. The synthesis of these materials by impregnation from strongly oxidizing aqueous solutions or pH-controlled deposition often leads to low metal loadings or a range of metal species. Here, we demonstrate that simple impregnation of the metal precursors onto activated carbon from a low-boiling-point, low-polarity solvent, such as acetone, results in catalysts with an atomic dispersion of cationic metal species. We show the generality of this method by producing single-site Au, Pd, Ru and Pt catalysts supported on carbon in a facile manner. Single-site Au/C catalysts have previously been validated commercially to produce vinyl chloride, and here we show that this facile synthesis method can produce effective catalysts for acetylene hydrochlorination in the absence of the highly oxidizing acidic solvents previously used. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 560–567
Number of pages8
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number6
Early online date13 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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