Peptide-templated noble metal catalysts: syntheses and applications
Noble metal catalysts have been widely used in many applications because of their high activity and selectivity. However, a controllable preparation of noble metal catalysts still remains as a significant challenge. To overcome this challenge, peptide templates can play a critical role in the controllable syntheses of catalysts owing to their flexible binding with specific metallic surfaces and self-assembly characteristics. By employing peptide templates, the size, shape, facet, structure, and composition of obtained catalysts can all be specifically controlled under the mild synthesis conditions. In addition, catalysts with spherical, nanofiber, and nanofilm structures can all be produced by associating with the self-assembly characteristics of peptide templates. Furthermore, the peptide-templated noble metal catalysts also reveal significantly enhanced catalytic behaviours compared with conventional catalysts because the electron conductivity, metal dispersion, and reactive site exposure can all be improved. In this review, we summarize the research progresses in the syntheses of peptide-templated noble metal catalysts. The applications of the peptide-templated catalysts in organic reactions, photocatalysis, and electrocatalysis are discussed, and the relationship between structure and activity of these catalysts are addressed. Future opportunities, including new catalytic materials designed by using biological principles, are indicated to achieve selective, eco-friendly, and energy neutral synthesis approaches.