Hydrogenation of hydrophobic substrates catalyzed by gold nanoparticles embedded in Tetronic/cyclodextrin-based hydrogels†
Hydrogenation of alkenes, alkynes and aldehydes was investigated under biphasic conditions using Au nanoparticles (AuNP) embedded into combinations of α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) and a poloxamine (Tetronic®90R4). Thermo-responsive AuNP-containing α-CD/Tetronic®90R4 hydrogels are formed under well-defined conditions of concentration. The AuNP displayed an average size of ca. 7 nm and a narrow distribution, as determined by TEM. The AuNP/α-CD/Tetronic®90R4 system proved to be stable over time. Upon heating above the gel-to-sol transition temperature, the studied catalytic system allowed hydrogenation of a wide range of substrates such as alkenes, alkynes and aldehydes under biphasic conditions. Upon repeated heating/cooling cycles, the Au NP/α-CD/Tetronic®90R4 catalytic system could be recycled several times without a significant decline in catalytic activity.