Size controllable redispersion of sintered Au nanoparticles by using iodohydrocarbon and its implications†
Downsizing large Au particles into small particles with controllable size remains challenging. In this study, we redispersed large sintered Au particles on activated carbon (Au/C) to highly dispersed nanoparticles with uniform distribution and controllable size after treatment with iodohydrocarbons. The Au/C catalyst was conducted for a number of deactivation/regeneration cycles with negligible deterioration in catalytic performance for acetylene hydrochlorination. The redispersion behavior reveals a reverse agglomeration process in the presence of iodohydrocarbons under mild conditions. This behavior is significantly related to the C–I bond dissociation energy (BDE) and adsorption of iodic species on Au particles. A novel protocol for controlling the size and predicting the redispersion efficiency of Au particles is established by correlating with the C–I BDEs of iodohydrocarbons. The molecular-level interpretation of redispersion provides a thorough mechanism based on experimental results. This study presents an efficient method for the easy regeneration of sintered Au-based catalysts for practical applications.