A research team led by Prof. Qiang Fu and Prof. Xinhe Bao from State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, reported the Strong Metal-Support Interactions (SMSI) effect in transition metal catalysts supported on hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) sheets. The results were published in J. Am. Chem. Soc..
SMSI effect is known as one of the most important concepts in heterogeneous catalysis. This effect is almost exclusively observed in metal catalysts supported on active and reducible oxides, in which the support-derived material can encapsulate metal nanoparticles under certain treatment or reaction conditions.
Formation of etching nanopits in h-BN sheets aided by Ni particles and encapsulation of the Ni particles by BOx overlayers during dry reforming of methane reaction
In this work, this classical SMSI process has been surprisingly observed between metal nanoparticles, e.g., Ni, Fe, Co, and Ru, and inert hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanosheets. It has been found that weak oxidizing gases such as CO2 and H2O induce the encapsulation of nickel (Ni) nanoparticles by ultrathin boron oxide (BOx) overlayers derived from the h-BN support during the dry reforming of methane (DRM) reaction.
Based on the experimental and theory calculation results, the etched nanopits at the Ni/h-BN interface can confine the Ni nanoparticles against sintering. The amorphous BOx encapsulation overlayers are permeable for the reactants and work synergistically with Ni. Both factors promote the DRM reaction.
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. (Text/Picture DONG Jinhu)