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We report the first example of monometallic gold nanoparticles, functionalized with amine and encapsulated in silica nanospheres, as a high-performance catalyst for hydrogen generation from aqueous formic acid for chemical hydrogen storage. Remarkably, the presence of amine in the silica sphere can make the gold nanoparticles highly active although the unsupported or silica-supported gold NPs being inactive for this reaction. The strong metal–molecular support interaction (SMMSI) could be extended, as a general strategy, to the development of nanocatalysts which need necessary environments around the active sites for a variety of catalytic reactions.
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Journal of Materials Chemistry
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