Parallel array of nanochannels grafted with polymer-brushes-stabilized Au nanoparticles for flow-through catalysis
Smart systems on the nanometer scale for continuous flow-through reaction present fascinating advantages in heterogeneous catalysis, in which a parallel array of straight nanochannels offers a platform with high surface area for assembling and stabilizing metallic nanoparticles working as catalysts. Herein we demonstrate a method for finely modifying the nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO), and further integration of nanoreactors. By using atomic transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), polymer brushes were successfully grafted on the inner wall of the nanochannels of the AAO membrane, followed by exchanging counter ions with a precursor for nanoparticles (NPs), and used as the template for deposition of well-defined Au NPs. The membrane was used as a functional nanochannel for novel flow-through catalysis. High catalytic performance and instantaneous separation of products from the reaction system was achieved in reduction of 4-nitrophenol.