Carbon nitride mediated strong metal–support interactions in a Au/TiO2 catalyst for aerobic oxidative desulfurization†
Supported Au nanocatalysts have been regarded as efficient catalysts. However, their poor thermal stability has hindered their extensive application. Herein, Au-TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) with outstanding thermal stability were prepared by a novel carbon nitride (C3N4)-mediated synthetic strategy. The C3N4 layer on TiO2 functioned as a sacrificial agent and mediated the engineering of a strong metal–support interaction (SMSI) between the TiO2 support and Au NPs. A SMSI is successfully formed after the removal of the C3N4 sacrificial agent. The formation of a SMSI was found to rely on the thin coating layer of TiO2 around Au NPs and the electron transfer effect. The SMSI provides the Au NPs with a boosted oxygen activation performance and enhanced the catalytic performance of aerobic oxidative desulfurization under mild conditions. Moreover, the SMSI induces a promoted thermal stability and good sintering resistance during the oxidative desulfurization process. This work could provide a simple strategy to enhance the thermal stability of noble metal NPs.