Reducing energy barriers of chemical reactions with a nanomicrocell catalyst consisting of integrated active sites in conductive matrices

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  • ReceivedJan 25, 2019
  • AcceptedFeb 3, 2019
  • PublishedFeb 23, 2019


Reducing energy barriers of chemical reactions is the never-ending endeavor of chemists. Inspired by the high reactivity of primary cells, we develop a nanosized fuel cell catalyst (denoted as nanomicrocell catalyst), consisting of integrated electrode pairs, conductive matrices and electrolytes, to improve the chemical reactivity. Specifically, the anodes are Pd species which is combining with the electron-rich N atoms in B-and-N co-doped carbon dots; the cathodes are electron-deficient B atoms; and the conductive matrices are B-and-N co-doped carbon dots which are connecting with the electrode pairs. Similar to the reactivity of primary cells, the catalytic properties of the nanomicrocell catalyst in hydrogenation of benzaldehyde are depending on the properties of electrode pairs, conductive matrices and electrolytes. The unique catalytic properties are attributed to the different substrate adsorption capability and catalytic properties of paired electrodes, and the easy migration of electrons and charge carriers, which could improve the synergetic effect between paired active sites. Therefore, this work may open up a new window for designed synthesis of advanced catalysts which could highly lower the energy barriers of chemical reactions.

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