Surfactant-aided synthesis of RhCo nanoclusters as highly effective and recyclable catalysts for the hydrolysis of methylamine borane and dimethylamine borane
In the present study, the first ever and easy surfactant-aided synthesis of hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide-stabilized RhCo nanoclusters (Rh0.63Co0.37@CTAB) and their employment as highly efficient, relatively cost-saving, and recyclable catalysts to generate hydrogen from the hydrolysis reactions of methylamine borane (MeAB) and dimethylamine borane (DMAB) are reported. The easy synthesis of Rh0.63Co0.37@CTAB nanoclusters is accomplished by synchronous reduction of appropriate rhodium and cobalt salts by sodium borohydride in the presence of CTAB as a surfactant in aqueous solution at room temperature. The Rh0.63Co0.37@CTAB nanoclusters are characterized by some techniques like ultraviolet-visible electronic absorption spectroscopy (UV-vis), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). They provide very remarkable turnover frequencies (TOFs) of 107.1 min−1 and 142.9 min−1 (8571.4 h−1, best ever value) in the hydrolysis of MeAB and DMAB, respectively, even at very low temperatures. Their activation energies in the same reactions are calculated to be 55.3 kJ mol−1 and 50.3 kJ mol−1, respectively.