Au@UiO-66: a base free oxidation catalyst†
We present the in situ synthesis of Au nanoparticles within the Zr based Metal Organic Framework, UiO-66. The resulting Au@UiO-66 materials were characterized by means of N2 sorption, XRPD, UV-Vis, XRF, XPS and TEM analysis. The Au nanoparticles (NP) are homogeneously distributed along the UiO-66 host matrix when using NaBH4 or H2 as reducing agents. The Au@UiO-66 materials were evaluated as catalysts in the oxidation of benzyl alcohol and benzyl amine employing O2 as oxidant. The Au@MOF materials exhibit a very high selectivity towards the ketone (up to 100%). Regenerability and stability tests demonstrate that the Au@UiO-66 catalyst can be recycled with a negligible loss of Au species and no loss of crystallinity. In situ IR measurements of UiO-66 and Au@UiO-66-NaBH4, before and after treatment with alcohol, showed an increase in IR bands that can be assigned to a combination of physisorbed and chemisorbed alcohol species. This was confirmed by velocity power spectra obtained from the molecular dynamics simulations. Active peroxo and oxo species on Au could be visualized with Raman analysis.