One-pot synthesis of stable Pd@mSiO2 core–shell nanospheres with controlled pore structure and their application to the hydrogenation reaction
A new type of Pd@mSiO2 composite nanospheres with controlled pore structure, consisting of internal Pd cores and controlled mesoporous silica shells, has been prepared by a facile one-pot method. The thickness and pore size of the shell could be easily tuned by changing the amounts of TEOS and the hydrophobic block length, respectively, during synthesis. In this perspective, the effects of CTAB concentration, pH, and TEOS concentration on the monodisperse sphere morphology of Pd@mSiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) were investigated. In addition, a nucleation mechanism was proposed. Hydrogenation of nitrobenzene to aniline was used as a model reaction to discuss the effect of pore size on the transport rate of the reactants and the product selectivity in metal-catalyzed hydrogenation. The catalysts exhibited a high conversion rate and significantly enhanced stability, leading to a higher recyclability without loss of catalytic activity compared to conventional supported catalysts and commercial catalysts.