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Porous Brønsted Superacid as an Efficient and Durable Solid Catalyst


The development of catalysts able to assist industrially chemical transformations is a topic of high importance. In view of the versatile catalytic capabilities of acid catalysts, extensive research efforts are being pursued to develop porous superacid materials with a high density of accessible active sites to replace molecular acid catalysts. Herein, we report the rational development of a porous Brønsted superacid by combining important elements that target high strength acidity into one material, as demonstrated by grafting the sulfonic acid group onto a highly fluorinated porous framework, where the acid strength and stability are greatly enhanced by an electron-withdrawing environment provided by the polymer backbone, reminiscent of that seen in Nafion® resin. In addition, the densely arranged acid groups that are confined in the three-dimensional nanospace facilitate the transfer of hydrons, thereby further increasing the acidity. By virtue of the pore structure and strong acidity, this system exhibits excellent performance for a wide range of reactions, far outperforming commercial acid resins in repeated batch and flow reaction conditions. Our findings demonstrate how this synthetic approach may instruct the future design of heterogeneous acid catalysts with advantageous reaction capabilities and stability.

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jul 2018, accepted on 12 Sep 2018 and first published on 13 Sep 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA06516K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Porous Brønsted Superacid as an Efficient and Durable Solid Catalyst

    F. Xiao, Q. Sun, K. Hu, K. Leng, X. Yi, B. Aguila, Y. Sun, A. Zheng, X. Meng and S. Ma, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA06516K

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