Themed collection Editor’s Choice: Single-atom and nanocluster catalysis

39 items
Minireview

Precisely modulating the surface sites on atomically monodispersed gold-based nanoclusters for controlling their catalytic performances

The catalytic properties of atomically precise gold-based nanoclusters can be tailored by precisely modulating the surface sites on the nanoclusters.

Graphical abstract: Precisely modulating the surface sites on atomically monodispersed gold-based nanoclusters for controlling their catalytic performances
Open Access Minireview

A perspective on oxide-supported single-atom catalysts

To explore oxide-supported single-atom catalysts (SACs) at the atomic level, a recently developed surface free energy approach may help fabricate well-defined SACs to tackle some key issues in the future.

Graphical abstract: A perspective on oxide-supported single-atom catalysts
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Engineering ultrasmall metal nanoclusters for photocatalytic and electrocatalytic applications

The many fundamental properties of ultrasmall noble metal nanoclusters have made it increasingly clear that they possess enormous potential for photo- and electro-catalytic applications due to their unique electronic and optical properties.

Graphical abstract: Engineering ultrasmall metal nanoclusters for photocatalytic and electrocatalytic applications
Minireview

Heterogeneous gold catalysts for selective hydrogenation: from nanoparticles to atomically precise nanoclusters

Gold nanocatalysts with different sizes (nanoparticles and nanoclusters) show different catalytic performances for various selective hydrogenation reactions.

Graphical abstract: Heterogeneous gold catalysts for selective hydrogenation: from nanoparticles to atomically precise nanoclusters
Open Access Review Article

Activation of atom-precise clusters for catalysis

This review details methods used to activate Au and Ag clusters for catalysis and routes that have been effective in mitigating sintering.

Graphical abstract: Activation of atom-precise clusters for catalysis
Open Access Review Article

Photo/electrocatalysis and photosensitization using metal nanoclusters for green energy and medical applications

This review summarizes recent developments in the photo/electro catalytic and photosensitizing characteristics of metal and alloy NCs for green energy and medical applications.

Graphical abstract: Photo/electrocatalysis and photosensitization using metal nanoclusters for green energy and medical applications
Review Article

An overview on the current understanding of the photophysical properties of metal nanoclusters and their potential applications

Photophysics of atomically precise metal nanoclusters (MNCs) is an emerging area of research due to their potential applications in optoelectronics, photovoltaics, sensing, bio-imaging and catalysis.

Graphical abstract: An overview on the current understanding of the photophysical properties of metal nanoclusters and their potential applications
Review Article

Design of atomically dispersed catalytic sites for photocatalytic CO2 reduction

This Minireview highlights recent key developments of atomically dispersed catalytic sites for photocatalytic CO2 reduction and elucidates the common fundamentals behind various materials systems.

Graphical abstract: Design of atomically dispersed catalytic sites for photocatalytic CO2 reduction
Communication

The role of ligands in atomically precise nanocluster-catalyzed CO2 electrochemical reduction

S/Se atoms at the metal–ligand interface can play an important role in determining the overall electrocatalytic performance of Au nanoclusters.

Graphical abstract: The role of ligands in atomically precise nanocluster-catalyzed CO2 electrochemical reduction
Open Access Communication

Ligand-free gold nanoclusters confined in mesoporous silica nanoparticles for styrene epoxidation

We present a novel approach to produce gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) in the pores of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) by sequential and controlled addition of metal ions and reducing agents.

Graphical abstract: Ligand-free gold nanoclusters confined in mesoporous silica nanoparticles for styrene epoxidation
Communication

The atomic origin of nickel-doping-induced catalytic enhancement in MoS2 for electrochemical hydrogen production

The HER performance of MoS2 is enhanced dramatically by doping single Ni atoms into Mo sites.

Graphical abstract: The atomic origin of nickel-doping-induced catalytic enhancement in MoS2 for electrochemical hydrogen production
Open Access Paper

Binary and ternary Pt-based clusters grown in a plasma multimagnetron-based gas aggregation source: electrocatalytic evaluation towards glycerol oxidation

PtCuBi selective electrooxidation of glycerol to value-added chemicals.

Graphical abstract: Binary and ternary Pt-based clusters grown in a plasma multimagnetron-based gas aggregation source: electrocatalytic evaluation towards glycerol oxidation
Open Access Paper

Preparation of Cu cluster catalysts by simultaneous cooling–microwave heating: application in radical cascade annulation

The sub-1.5 nm Cu clusters are prepared through simultaneous cooling–microwave heating and employed for the synthesis of various polycycles.

Graphical abstract: Preparation of Cu cluster catalysts by simultaneous cooling–microwave heating: application in radical cascade annulation
Open Access Paper

Rational design of bimetallic photocatalysts based on plasmonically-derived hot carriers

Boosting hot-electron extraction for photochemistry: triple role of surface morphology of SiO2–Au–Pt plasmonic hetero-nanostructures.

Graphical abstract: Rational design of bimetallic photocatalysts based on plasmonically-derived hot carriers
Paper

Predicting ligand removal energetics in thiolate-protected nanoclusters from molecular complexes

Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations reveal that ligand removal energetics in thiolate-protected nanoclusters can be accurately predicted through simple metal–thiolate complex calculations.

Graphical abstract: Predicting ligand removal energetics in thiolate-protected nanoclusters from molecular complexes
Paper

Towards the identification of the gold binding region within trypsin stabilized nanoclusters using microwave synthesis routes

Elucidating the location of stabilized nanoclusters within their protein hosts is an existing challenge towards the optimized development of functional protein-nanoclusters.

Graphical abstract: Towards the identification of the gold binding region within trypsin stabilized nanoclusters using microwave synthesis routes
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Size-controlled nanocrystals reveal spatial dependence and severity of nanoparticle coalescence and Ostwald ripening in sintering phenomena

Colloidal nanocrystals allow investigating sintering phenomena in supported catalysts.

Graphical abstract: Size-controlled nanocrystals reveal spatial dependence and severity of nanoparticle coalescence and Ostwald ripening in sintering phenomena
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Paper

Dynamics of weak interactions in the ligand layer of meta-mercaptobenzoic acid protected gold nanoclusters Au68(m-MBA)32 and Au144(m-MBA)40

Interactive dynamics between ligand shell and atomically precise nanocluster define stability and open possibilities for catalytic reactions at unprotected sites.

Graphical abstract: Dynamics of weak interactions in the ligand layer of meta-mercaptobenzoic acid protected gold nanoclusters Au68(m-MBA)32 and Au144(m-MBA)40
Paper

A rational study on the geometric and electronic properties of single-atom catalysts for enhanced catalytic performance

We investigate the geometric and electronic properties of single-atom catalysts (SACs) for electrocatalytic COreduction reaction (eCO2RR).

Graphical abstract: A rational study on the geometric and electronic properties of single-atom catalysts for enhanced catalytic performance
Open Access Paper

New gold standard: weakly capped infant Au nanoclusters with record high catalytic activity for 4-nitrophenol reduction and hydrogen generation from an ammonia borane–sodium borohydride mixture

Active sites are preserved in the citric acid-capped Au nanoclusters prepared in solid state. In water, the rapid dissolution of citric acid allows the reactants to easily access the active sites of infant Au nanoclusters leading to faster catalysis.

Graphical abstract: New gold standard: weakly capped infant Au nanoclusters with record high catalytic activity for 4-nitrophenol reduction and hydrogen generation from an ammonia borane–sodium borohydride mixture
Paper

Noble metal nanoclusters-decorated NiFe layered double hydroxide superstructure as nanoreactors for selective hydrogenation catalysis

The ability to conduct the self-assembly of nanometer-scale building blocks is the core issue in achieving “bottom-up” fabrications of desired superstructures.

Graphical abstract: Noble metal nanoclusters-decorated NiFe layered double hydroxide superstructure as nanoreactors for selective hydrogenation catalysis
Paper

Enhancement of the performance of Pd nanoclusters confined within ultrathin silica layers for formic acid oxidation

Ultrasmall Pd nanoclusters confined within silica layers show high activity for formic acid oxidation with excellent stability.

Graphical abstract: Enhancement of the performance of Pd nanoclusters confined within ultrathin silica layers for formic acid oxidation
Open Access Paper

Gold nanoclusters cause selective light-driven biochemical catalysis in living nano-biohybrid organisms

We describe selective light-driven biochemical catalysis in living nano-biohybrid organisms made from different atomically-precise gold nanoclusters.

Graphical abstract: Gold nanoclusters cause selective light-driven biochemical catalysis in living nano-biohybrid organisms
Open Access Paper

Unraveling the single-atom electrocatalytic activity of transition metal-doped phosphorene

Single-atom catalysts based on transition metal-doped phosphorene feature excellent electrocatalytic activity towards ORR, OER and HER.

Graphical abstract: Unraveling the single-atom electrocatalytic activity of transition metal-doped phosphorene
Paper

Interstratified heterostructures of metal hydroxide nanoclusters and MoS2 monolayers with improved electrode performance

Interstratified 2D nanohybrids of chromium hydroxide–molybdenum disulfide with improved electrode functionality are synthesized by the self-assembly of anionic monolayered MoS2 nanosheets with cationic chromium hydroxide nanoclusters.

Graphical abstract: Interstratified heterostructures of metal hydroxide nanoclusters and MoS2 monolayers with improved electrode performance
Paper

Interfacial synergy between dispersed Ru sub-nanoclusters and porous NiFe layered double hydroxide on accelerated overall water splitting by intermediate modulation

Benefitting from the desired potential-induced interfacial synergy, the Ru–NiFe LDH interfaces will convert to RuO2–NiFe(OOH)x interfaces to meet the requirements of an anode and cathode reaction, respectively.

Graphical abstract: Interfacial synergy between dispersed Ru sub-nanoclusters and porous NiFe layered double hydroxide on accelerated overall water splitting by intermediate modulation
Paper

NiAg0.4 3D porous nanoclusters with epitaxial interfaces exhibiting Pt like activity towards hydrogen evolution in alkaline medium

The Ni–Ag interface furnishes a reduced energy pathway for the enhanced hydrogen evolution reaction.

Graphical abstract: NiAg0.4 3D porous nanoclusters with epitaxial interfaces exhibiting Pt like activity towards hydrogen evolution in alkaline medium
Paper

A platinum–nickel bimetallic nanocluster ensemble-on-polyaniline nanofilm for enhanced electrocatalytic oxidation of dopamine

Designed fabrication of flexible metal alloy nanocluster–polyaniline hybrid materials for efficient (bio)electrochemical applications.

Graphical abstract: A platinum–nickel bimetallic nanocluster ensemble-on-polyaniline nanofilm for enhanced electrocatalytic oxidation of dopamine
Paper

A mechanistic insight into rhodium-doped gold clusters as a better hydrogenation catalyst

The reaction pathways of ethylene hydrogenation on pristine (Aun, n = 8 and 20) and rhodium-doped (AunRh) gold clusters are explored by DFT calculations.

Graphical abstract: A mechanistic insight into rhodium-doped gold clusters as a better hydrogenation catalyst
Paper

Theoretical screening of efficient single-atom catalysts for nitrogen fixation based on a defective BN monolayer

A single V atom anchored on h-BN exhibits outstanding catalytic activity for the NRR with a low onset potential of 0.25 V.

Graphical abstract: Theoretical screening of efficient single-atom catalysts for nitrogen fixation based on a defective BN monolayer
Paper

Metal single-atom coordinated graphitic carbon nitride as an efficient catalyst for CO oxidation

Metal single-atom coordinated graphitic carbon nitride exhibits excellent catalytic activity toward CO oxidation.

Graphical abstract: Metal single-atom coordinated graphitic carbon nitride as an efficient catalyst for CO oxidation
Paper

Ru nanoclusters confined in porous organic cages for catalytic hydrolysis of ammonia borane and tandem hydrogenation reaction

Ultrafine Ru nanoclusters were encapsulated in porous organic cages for catalytic hydrolysis of ammonia borane and tandem hydrogenation reactions.

Graphical abstract: Ru nanoclusters confined in porous organic cages for catalytic hydrolysis of ammonia borane and tandem hydrogenation reaction
Paper

Design of high-performance MoS2 edge supported single-metal atom bifunctional catalysts for overall water splitting via a simple equation

MoS2 edges exhibit good hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) activity but poor oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity.

Graphical abstract: Design of high-performance MoS2 edge supported single-metal atom bifunctional catalysts for overall water splitting via a simple equation
Paper

Computational screening of transition-metal single atom doped C9N4 monolayers as efficient electrocatalysts for water splitting

Ni@C9N4 performs as a promising bifunctional electrocatalyst with N and Ni atoms as the catalytic active sites for HER and OER, with calculated hydrogen adsorption Gibbs free energy (ΔGH*) of −0.04 eV and OER overpotential (ηOER) of 0.31 V.

Graphical abstract: Computational screening of transition-metal single atom doped C9N4 monolayers as efficient electrocatalysts for water splitting
Paper

One-core-atom loss in a gold nanocluster promotes hydroamination reaction of alkynes

Au24 without a core atom exhibits higher activity in the intramolecular hydroamination of alkynes than Au25 with the core atom.

Graphical abstract: One-core-atom loss in a gold nanocluster promotes hydroamination reaction of alkynes
Open Access Paper

Tailoring the stability, photocatalysis and photoluminescence properties of Au11 nanoclusters via doping engineering

Au8Ag3(PPh3)7Cl3 alloy nanoclusters with C3-axis Ag doping exhibit photothermodynamic and electrochemical stability improvements to afford photoluminescence and photocatalytic oxidation enhancement.

Graphical abstract: Tailoring the stability, photocatalysis and photoluminescence properties of Au11 nanoclusters via doping engineering
Paper

Atmosphere-dependent stability and mobility of catalytic Pt single atoms and clusters on γ-Al2O3

Pt single atoms, stable on alumina under O2, form mobile clusters under H2, due to adsorbate- and nuclearity-dependent metal-support interaction.

Graphical abstract: Atmosphere-dependent stability and mobility of catalytic Pt single atoms and clusters on γ-Al2O3
Open Access Paper

Platinum single-atom adsorption on graphene: a density functional theory study

Single-atom catalysis, which utilizes single atoms as active sites, is one of promising ways to enhance the catalytic activity and to reduce the amount of precious metals used. Here by means of density functional theory based thermodynamics we show that the single platinum atoms preferentially adsorb on the substitutional carbon sites at the hydrogen terminated graphene edge.

Graphical abstract: Platinum single-atom adsorption on graphene: a density functional theory study
Paper

Ultra-small and recyclable zero-valent iron nanoclusters for rapid and highly efficient catalytic reduction of p-nitrophenol in water

Zero-valent iron nanoclusters with an ultrafine size have been prepared by a micelle-assisted process, and exhibit high catalytic activity and stability.

Graphical abstract: Ultra-small and recyclable zero-valent iron nanoclusters for rapid and highly efficient catalytic reduction of p-nitrophenol in water
39 items

About this collection

Professor Manzhou Zhu, Anhui University, China and Associate Editor for Nanoscale and Nanoscale Advances, introduces his Editor’s Choice collection.

“Owing to their atomically precise structures and highly specific surface areas, continuing research on single-atom and nanocluster-based catalysts has been performed. This online themed collection focuses on single-atom and nanocluster catalysis, which is of major significance in elucidating catalytic mechanisms as well as investigating new types of high-efficiency catalysts. We hope that the readers find this themed collection informative and useful.”

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