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Issue 22, 2017
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Constructing magnetic Si–C–Fe hybrid microspheres for room temperature nitroarenes reduction

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Abstract

In this work, we present, for the first time, the synthesis and characterization of magnetic Si–C–Fe hybrid microspheres and their catalytic performance in room temperature reduction of 4-nitrophenol as a representative sustainable process for converting environmental pollutants to fine chemicals. The ferrocene-modified polydivinylbenzene (Fc-PDVB) precursor was synthesized by Pt-catalyzed hydrosilylation between the residual vinyl groups on the PDVB surface and 1,1′-bis (dimethylsilyl)ferrocene, where further pyrolysis led to the formation of Fe nanocrystal-containing Si–C–Fe hybrid microspheres. The precursor and hybrid microspheres were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), BET surface area/porosity, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), magnetic properties and MAS solid-state NMR measurements. The ultimate microspherical catalyst exhibited nano- and meso-pores, a high specific surface area (i.e., 347.9 m2 g−1) and good ferromagnetic properties. Efficient catalytic activity (TOF: 0.163 s−1), 100% selectivity (to 4-aminophenol) and excellent reusability (with easy separation) have been delivered. The achieved microspheres outperform a number of nanomaterials such as supported noble metal particles, composites, monoliths and sheets. We have confirmed by DFT calculations that the activation of 4-nitrophenol via its weak non-covalent interaction with the sp2 carbon domain of Si–C–Fe hybrid microspheres contributed to the superior performance which can be extended to a range of nitrobenzenes.

Graphical abstract: Constructing magnetic Si–C–Fe hybrid microspheres for room temperature nitroarenes reduction

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Feb 2017, accepted on 26 Apr 2017 and first published on 26 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA01156C
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 10986-10997
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    Constructing magnetic Si–C–Fe hybrid microspheres for room temperature nitroarenes reduction

    X. Zhang, L. Chen, J. Yun, X. Wang and J. Kong, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 10986
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA01156C

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