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Enhanced Catalytic Activity of Sub-nanometer Titania Clusters Confined inside Double-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Authors

  • Hongbo Zhang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 411 8469 4447
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  • Prof. Xiulian Pan,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 411 8469 4447
    • State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 411 8469 4447
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  • Prof. Jingyue (Jimmy) Liu ,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 411 8469 4447
    2. Center for Nanoscience, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Boulevard, St. Louis, MI 63121 (USA)
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  • Prof. Weizhong Qian,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Reaction Engineering and Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (PR China)
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  • Prof. Fei Wei,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Reaction Engineering and Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (PR China)
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  • Prof. Yuying Huang,

    1. Shanghai Synchrontron Radiation Center, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhang Heng Road 239, Pudong District, Shanghai 201204 (PR China)
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  • Prof. Xinhe Bao

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 411 8469 4447
    • State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 411 8469 4447
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Abstract

Sub-nanometer titania clusters have been homogeneously dispersed within double-wall carbon nantubes (DWNTs) with an inner diameter ranging from 1.0 to 1.5 nm. The confined titania exhibits a much higher activity than the titania particles attached on the outside walls of the DWNTs (the outside titania) in the epoxidation of propylene by H2O2. XPS, XANES and Raman spectroscopy data suggest electron transfer from titanium to the inner surfaces of the DWNTs. In contrast, no electron transfer has been observed for the outside titania. We also found that the extent of this confinement-induced electron transfer is temperature dependent. The enhanced activity of the confined titania clusters is likely attributed to their small sizes and the interaction with the DWNT surface. The synthesis method that we developed here can be readily applied to incorporation of other metal/metal oxide nanoparticles into carbon nanotubes.

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