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Stable 2D-structured supports incorporating ionic block copolymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes with graphene oxide toward compact decoration of metal nanoparticles and high-performance nano-catalysis

Cho, Kie Yong, Seo, Heun Young, Yeom, Yong Sik, Kumar, Pradip, Lee, Albert S., Baek, Kyung-Youl, Yoon, Ho Gyu
Carbon 2016 v.105 pp. 340-352
carbon, carbon nanotubes, catalysts, catalytic activity, dimensional stability, gold, graphene oxide, nanoparticles, p-nitrophenol, polymethylmethacrylate, silver, solubility, surface area, toluene
The incorporation of pyrene-functionalized poly(methyl methacrylate)-b-poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PMMA-b-PDMAEMA) ionic block copolymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes (PBCNTs) with graphene oxide (GO) allows compact decoration of metal nanoparticles (NP) for use as robust catalysts. This well-tailored concept of the PBCNT-GO functional carbon support provides various features, including a two-dimensional (2D) structure, dimensional stability, versatile solubility (from toluene to water), enhanced diffusion of reagents, and recyclability. Among the various compositions of GO and PBCNT, 50 wt% of the PBCNT additive-containing support (PBCGO55) showed great hybridization potential for Ag, Au, and Pd NPs. In particular, the hybridization of PBCGO55 with Pd NPs (Pd-PBCGO55) displayed superior morphological features with compact decoration of ultra-fine NPs (1–3 nm), larger surface area, higher density of edge and corner atoms, better dispersion stability, and lesser aggregation of the decorated Pd NPs in comparison with the other hybrid catalysts. In the catalytic reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), the Pd-PBCGO55 hybrid catalyst exhibited the best catalytic performance, resulting in highly enhanced reaction rate constant (k) of 9.73 min−1 and catalytic activity of 141.8 mol mol−1 min−1, exhibiting a 50-fold increased rate constant and 30-fold increased catalytic activity in comparison to Ag-GO without PBCNT (k = 0.19 min−1, catalytic activity = 4.58 mol mol−1 min−1).