Journal of Catalysis, Vol.383, 304-310, 2020
Replacement of Pd nanoparticles: Hydrogenation promoted by frustrated Lewis acid-base pairs in carbon quantum dots
Due to the scarcity of the noble metals and their high price, the use of carbon-based materials to replace the noble metal catalysts has attracted extensive current research interest. Herein, we reported that carbon quantum dots (CQDs) can be used to replace Pd nanoparticles in hydrogenation reactions due to the presence of the frustrated Lewis acid-base pairs (FLPs), as demonstrated experimentally and supported theoretically. By coupling the hydrogenation of imines over CQDs with ZnIn2S4-based photocatalytic dehydrogenation of alcohols, N-alkylation of amines with alcohols have been successfully realized over CQDs/ZnIn2S4, with performance comparable to that observed over Pd/ZnIn2S4 nanocomposite, demonstrating the possibility of using CQDs to substitute Pd nanoparticles in hydrogenation of imines. This work shows enormous potential of employing the CQDs in chemical reactions to reduce the current dependence on noble metal-based catalysts. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.