Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.142, No.29, 12643-12650, 2020
Cation-Exchange Induced Precise Regulation of Single Copper Site Triggers Room-Temperature Oxidation of Benzene
The controllable synthesis of stable single-metal site catalysts with an expected coordination environment for high catalytic activity and selectivity is still challenging. Here, we propose a cation-exchange strategy for precise production of an edge-rich sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) dual-decorated single-metal (M) site catalysts (M = Cu, Pt, Pd, etc.) library. Our strategy relies on the anionic frameworks of sulfides and N-rich polymer shell to generate abundant S and N defects during high-temperature annealing, further facilitating the stabilization of exchanged metal species with atomic dispersion and excellent accessibility. This process was traced by in situ transmission electron microscopy, during which no metal aggregates were observed. Both experiments and theoretical results reveal the precisely obtained S, N dual-decorated Cu sites exhibit a high activity and low reaction energy barrier in catalytic hydroxylation of benzene at room temperature. These findings provide a route to controllably produce stable single-metal site catalysts and an engineering approach for regulating the central metal to improve catalytic performance.