Catalytically active and thermally stable core–shell gold–silica nanorods for CO oxidation

March 22, 2021

Deactivation based on sintering phenomena is one of the most costly issues for the industrial application of metal nanoparticle catalysts. To address this drawback, mesoporous silica encapsulation is reported as a promising strategy to stabilize metallic nanoparticles towards use in high temperature catalytic applications. These protective shells provide significant structural support to the nanoparticles, while the mesoporosity allows for efficient transport of the reactants to the catalytically active surface of the metallic nanoparticle in the core. Here, we extend the use of gold nanorods with mesoporous silica shells by investigating their stability in the CO oxidation reaction as an example of high temperature gas phase catalysis. Gold nanorods were chosen as the model system due to the availability of a simple, high yield synthesis method for both the metallic nanorods and the mesoporous silica shells. We demonstrate the catalytic activity of gold nanorods with mesoporous silica shells at temperatures up to 350 °C over several cycles, as well as the thermal stability up to 500 °C, and compare these results to surfactant-stabilized gold nanorods of similar size, which degrade, and lose most of their catalytic activity, before reaching 150 °C. These results show that the gold nanorods protected by the mesoporous silica shells have a significantly higher thermal stability than surfactant-stabilized gold nanorods and that the mesoporous silica shell allows for stable catalytic activity with little degradation at high temperatures.


Yidong Chen, Sarah Lerch, Zafer Say, Christopher Tiburski, Christoph Langhammer and Kasper Moth-Poulsen

Published in

RSC Advances


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