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Title: Intercalating lithium into the lattice of silver nanoparticles boosts catalytic hydrogenation of carbon-oxygen bonds
Authors: Duan, XP
Chen, T
Chen, T 
Huang, L
Ye, L
Lo, BTW 
Yuan, Y
Tsang, SCE
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Chemical science, 2021, v. 12, no. 25, p. 8791-8802
Abstract: Coinage metal nanoparticles with high dispersion can serve as highly efficient heterogeneous catalysts. However, owing to their low melting point, poor thermal stability remains a major obstacle towards their application under reaction conditions. It is a common practice to use porous inorganic templates such as mesoporous silica SBA-15 to disperse Ag nanoparticles (NPs) against aggregation but their stability is far from satisfactory. Here, we show that the catalytic activity for hydrogenation of dimethyl oxalate (DMO) to methyl glycolate (MG) over Ag NPs dispersed on SBA-15 silica can be further promoted by incorporation of alkali metal ions at small loading, which follows the inverse order of their cationic size: Li+> Na+> K+> Rb+. Among these, 5Ag1-Li0.05/SBA-15 can double the MG yield compared to pristine 5Ag/SBA-15 under identical conditions with superior thermal stability. Akin to the effect of an ionic surfactant on stabilization of a micro-emulsion, the cationic charge of an alkali metal ion can maintain dispersion and modulate the surface valence of Ag NPs. Interstitial Li in the octahedral holes of the face center packed Ag lattice is for the first time confirmed by X-ray pair distribution function and electron ptychography. It is believed that this interstitial-stabilization of coinage metal nanoparticles could be broadly applicable to multi-metallic nanomaterials for a broad range of C-O bond activating catalytic reactions of esters.
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Journal: Chemical science 
ISSN: 2041-6520
EISSN: 2041-6539
DOI: 10.1039/d1sc01700d
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence ( You can use material from this article in other publications, without requesting further permission from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given and it is not used for commercial purposes.
The following publication Duan, X., Yuan, Y., Lo, B. T. W., Ye, L., Huang, L., Tsang, E., ... & Chen, T. (2021). Intercalating Lithium into Lattice of Silver Nanoparticles boosts Catalytic Hydrogenation of Carbon-Oxygen Bond. Chemical Science is available at
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