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Issue 9, 2016
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Single-atom dispersed Co–N–C catalyst: structure identification and performance for hydrogenative coupling of nitroarenes

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Abstract

Co–N–C catalysts are promising candidates for substituting platinum in electrocatalysis and organic transformations. The heterogeneity of the Co species resulting from high-temperature pyrolysis, however, encumbers the structural identification of active sites. Herein, we report a self-supporting Co–N–C catalyst wherein cobalt is dispersed exclusively as single atoms. By using sub-Ångström-resolution HAADF-STEM in combination with XAFS and DFT calculation, the exact structure of the Co–N–C is identified to be CoN4C8-1-2O2, where the Co center atom is coordinated with four pyridinic N atoms in the graphitic layer, while two oxygen molecules are weakly adsorbed on Co atoms in perpendicular to the Co–N4 plane. This single-atom dispersed Co–N–C catalyst presents excellent performance for the chemoselective hydrogenation of nitroarenes to produce azo compounds under mild reaction conditions.

Graphical abstract: Single-atom dispersed Co–N–C catalyst: structure identification and performance for hydrogenative coupling of nitroarenes

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 May 2016, accepted on 11 Jun 2016 and first published on 13 Jun 2016


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC02105K
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 5758-5764
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Single-atom dispersed Co–N–C catalyst: structure identification and performance for hydrogenative coupling of nitroarenes

    W. Liu, L. Zhang, W. Yan, X. Liu, X. Yang, S. Miao, W. Wang, A. Wang and T. Zhang, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 5758
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SC02105K

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