Fabrication of an amyloid fibril-palladium nanocomposite: a sustainable catalyst for C–H activation and the electrooxidation of ethanol
Amyloids are highly ordered nanofibrils and their tensile strength is similar to that of steel, which makes them resistant to extreme pH and temperature. Based on this rationale, we demonstrate a facile synthesis of palladium, copper, platinum, gold and silver nanocomposites using α-Synuclein (α-Syn) fibrils as a template. We showed that an α-Syn-fibril-palladium nanoparticles (α-Syn-PdNPs) composite can be used as a heterogeneous catalyst in C–H bond activation and the electrooxidation of ethanol. The study demonstrated α-Syn-PdNPs to be a superior heterogeneous catalyst for the synthesis of pharmaceutically valuable benzofuran, naphthofuran, coumarin and N-arylindole via C–H activation. Further, the electrooxidation of ethanol using α-Syn-PdNPs displayed an electrochemically active surface area of 160.6 m2 g−1, which is much higher than the previously reported values for supported Pd nanocomposites.