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The role and fate of capping ligands in colloidally prepared metal nanoparticle catalysts

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Abstract

Metal nanoparticles have received intense scientific attention in the field of catalysis. Precise engineering of nanomaterials’ size, shape and surface composition, including adsorbed capping ligands, is of utmost importance to control activity and selectivity, and distinguish colloidally prepared metal nanoparticle catalysts from traditional heterogeneous catalysts. The interface between the material and the reaction medium is where the key interactions occur; therefore, catalysis occurs under the influence of capping ligands. In this Perspective review, we focus on the choice of capping ligands (or stabilizing agents), and their role and fate in different steps from preparation to catalysis. Evaluating the influence of the ligands on the catalytic response is not trivial, but the literature provides examples where the ligands adsorbed on the nanoparticle surface dramatically change the activity and selectivity for a particular reaction, while acting either as a dynamic shell or a passivation coating. Steric and electronic effects resulting from the presence of adsorbed ligands have been proposed to influence the catalytic properties. Attempts to remove the capping ligands are discussed, even though they are not always successful or even necessary. Finally, we outline our personal understanding and perspectives on the use of ligands or functionalized supports to tune the activity and selectivity of supported metal nanoparticles.

Graphical abstract: The role and fate of capping ligands in colloidally prepared metal nanoparticle catalysts

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Dec 2017, accepted on 13 Feb 2018 and first published on 13 Feb 2018


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C7DT04728B
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2018, Advance Article
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    The role and fate of capping ligands in colloidally prepared metal nanoparticle catalysts

    L. M. Rossi, J. L. Fiorio, M. A. S. Garcia and C. P. Ferraz, Dalton Trans., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7DT04728B

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