The fabrication of Au/Pd plasmonic alloys on UiO-66-NH2: an efficient visible light-induced photocatalyst towards the Suzuki Miyaura coupling reaction under ambient conditions†
Visible light harvesting by heterogeneous photocatalysts and their applications in organic transformation reactions for the synthesis of target molecules are quite demanding science in the current scenario. In this regard, herein, a novel metal (Au/Pd)-functionalized metal organic framework (UiO-66-NH2) was synthesized to carry out the Suzuki–Miyaura coupling (SMC) reaction under visible light irradiation at ambient conditions. In order to justify the claim regarding the formation of alloys, crystallinity, morphology, particle size, proper separation of excitons, elemental content and their environment, various sensitive characterization techniques such as XRD, XPS, HRTEM, BET surface area and UV-vis analysis were employed. A mechanistic approach by means of experimental investigations revealed that the strong LSPR effect of Au facilitated the transfer of electrons to the Pd surface to make the surface negatively charged and suitable for the activation of aryl halides. The formed electropositive Au nanoparticles were converted to Au0 by accepting the photo-induced electrons from pristine UiO-66-NH2 and made available only holes at VB for the activation of phenylboronic acid. Among all the synthesized photocatalysts (1 : 2), Au/Pd@UiO-66-NH2 showed the highest activity (>99%) with TOF = 426 h−1 in an EtOH/H2O medium towards the SMC reaction, and the highest activity of this catalyst was supported by the electron gas model, LSPR effect (UV-vis) and active species separation (PL) analysis. The bimetallic noble nanoparticle-anchored UiO-66-NH2 not only expands the synthesis scope of C–C coupling by the SMC reaction under ambient conditions but will also inspire the further exploration of the activation of various reactants towards a wide range of organic transformation reactions.