Nanoparticles as Recyclable Catalysts: The Frontier between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis



Interest in catalysis by metal nanoparticles (NPs) is increasing dramatically, as reflected by the large number of publications in the last five years. This field, “semi-heterogeneous catalysis”, is at the frontier between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, and progress has been made in the efficiency and selectivity of reactions and recovery and recyclability of the catalytic materials. Usually NP catalysts are prepared from a metal salt, a reducing agent, and a stabilizer and are supported on an oxide, charcoal, or a zeolite. Besides the polymers and oxides that used to be employed as standard, innovative stabilizers, media, and supports have appeared, such as dendrimers, specific ligands, ionic liquids, surfactants, membranes, carbon nanotubes, and a variety of oxides. Ligand-free procedures have provided remarkable results with extremely low metal loading. The Review presents the recent developments and the use of NP catalysis in organic synthesis, for example, in hydrogenation and C[BOND]C coupling reactions, and the heterogeneous oxidation of CO on gold NPs.