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Research Article

Facile synthesis of Au embedded CuOx-CeO2 core/shell nanospheres as highly reactive and sinter-resistant catalysts for catalytic hydrogenation of p-nitrophenol

Ke Wu1,§Xin-Yu Wang1,§Ling-Ling Guo2Yue-Jiao Xu1Liang Zhou1Ze-Yu Lyu1Kang-Yu Liu1Rui Si2Ya-Wen Zhang1Ling-Dong Sun1( )Chun-Hua Yan1,3( )
Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Rare Earth Materials Chemistry and Applications, PKU-HKU Joint Laboratory in Rare Earth Materials and Bioinorganic Chemistry, and College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201204, China
College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China

§ Ke Wu and Xin-Yu Wang contributed equally to this work.

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Exploring cost-effective catalysts with high catalytic performance and long-term stability has always been a general concern for environment protection and energy conversion. Here, Au nanoparticles (NPs) embedded CuOx-CeO2 core/shell nanospheres (Au@CuOx-CeO2 CSNs) have been successfully prepared through a versatile one-pot method at ambient conditions. The spontaneous auto-redox reaction between HAuCl4 and Ce(OH)3 in aqueous solution triggered the self-assembly growth of micro-/nanostructural Au@CuOx-CeO2 CSNs. Meanwhile, the CuOx clusters in Au@CuOx-CeO2 CSNs are capable of improving the anti-sintering ability of Au NPs and providing synergistic catalysis benefits. As a result, the confined Au NPs exhibited extraordinary thermal stability even at a harsh thermal condition up to 700 °C. In addition, before and after the severe calcination process, Au@CuOx-CeO2 CSNs can exhibit enhanced catalytic activity and excellent recyclability towards the hydrogenation of p-nitrophenol compared to previously reported nanocatalysts. The synergistic catalysis path between Au/CuOx/CeO2 triphasic interfaces was revealed by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The CuOx clusters around the embedded Au NPs can provide moderate adsorption strength of p-nitrophenol, while the adjacent CeO2-supported Au NPs can facilitate the hydrogen dissociation to form H* species, which contributes to achieve the efficient reduction of p-nitrophenol. This study opens up new possibilities for developing high-efficient and sintering-resistant micro-/nanostructural nanocatalysts by exploiting multiphasic systems.

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Nano Research
Pages 2044-2055
Cite this article:
Wu K, Wang X-Y, Guo L-L, et al. Facile synthesis of Au embedded CuOx-CeO2 core/shell nanospheres as highly reactive and sinter-resistant catalysts for catalytic hydrogenation of p-nitrophenol. Nano Research, 2020, 13(8): 2044-2055.






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Received: 19 February 2020
Revised: 24 March 2020
Accepted: 10 April 2020
Published: 05 August 2020
© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020