Nanoassemblies of ultrasmall clusters with remarkable activity in carbon dioxide conversion into C1 fuels†
Cu nanoassemblies formed transiently during reaction from size-selected subnanometer Cu4 clusters supported on amorphous OH-terminated alumina convert CO2 into methanol and hydrocarbons under near-atmospheric pressure at rates considerably higher than those of individually standing Cu4 clusters. An in situ characterization reveals that the clusters self-assemble into 2D nanoassemblies at higher temperatures which then disintegrate upon cooling down to room temperature. DFT calculations postulate a formation mechanism of these nanoassemblies by hydrogen-bond bridges between the clusters and H2O molecules, which keep the building blocks together while preventing their coalescence.
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