Reversing aggregation: direct synthesis of nanocatalysts from bulk metal. Cellulose nanocrystals as active support to access efficient hydrogenation silver nanocatalysts†
A highly atom-economical synthetic method to access nanocatalysts from bulk metal is described. A water suspension of cellulose nanocrystals was exposed to an Ag wire, under air and light exposure. In 2 weeks, Ag nanoparticles of size 1.3 nm ± 0.3 nm were deposited onto the biopolymer. These species were active for the hydrogenation of aldehydes, 4-nitrophenol, alkenes and alkynes.