Confined Catalysis

Carbon nitride nanotube reactors

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Science  30 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6541, pp. 477-478
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6541.477-f

Confinement of catalyzed reactions in nanoscale spaces can lead to higher activity and selectivity and may also help to stabilize catalysts. Zou et al. fabricated a free-standing membrane of carbon-nitride nanotubes (∼40-nanometer pore diameter) by polymerizing melamine in anodized aluminum membrane templates. After etching and freeing the membrane, exposure to visible light generated electron-hole pairs that could be used to degrade methylene blue or, with the addition of gold nanoparticles in the pores, to oxidize amines such as benzylamine in imines in the presence of oxygen. The higher reactivity relative to bulk catalysts was attributed to a strong electric field effect on substrates, longer photogenerated charge lifetimes, and enhanced fluid flow and oxygen diffusion within the channels.

ACS Nano 10.1021/acsnano.0c09661 (2021).

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