Oxygen-Functionalized Few-Layer Graphene Sheets as Active Catalysts for Oxidative Dehydrogenation Reactions



Invited for this month′s cover is the group from the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The illustration is of the catalytic activity of the reported oxygen-functionalized few-layer graphenes, whereas the micrograph background image is of the same graphenes recorded by the authors using a new helium-ion microscope at the CNMS. Read the full text of the article at 10.1002/cssc.201200756

What inspired you for the cover image?

1234We hoped to illustrate the catalytic activity of few-layer graphene and also show what a beautiful and complex material it is using the micrograph. The micrograph was produced by using a newly commissioned microscope that allows the representation of much finer details than is possible using a traditional SEM.

Scheme 1.

Dr. Viviane Schwartz

Scheme 2.

Dr. Chengdu Liang

Scheme 3.

Dr. Steven H. Overbury

Scheme 4.

Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences Oak Ridge National Laboratory One Bethel Valley Road Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (USA) Fax: (+1)865-574-1753 E-mail: schwartzv@ornl.gov; liangcn@ornl.gov

What is the most significant result of this study?

Manipulation of the oxygen functionalities on the surface of few-layer graphene can help to identify the most active sites of carbon-based materials for heterogeneous catalytic oxidative dehydrogenation. We found out that activity is more closely related to the availability of edge sites, where oxygen functional groups can be formed and exchanged, than to the total quantity of oxygen in the catalyst.

What future opportunities do you see (in the light of the results presented in this paper)?

Identification of the most active and selective sites in oxidative dehydrogenation will enable the engineering of active functionalities in nanostructured carbon materials. Carbon-based catalysts are a potential greener replacements for metal-oxide catalysts as they can be easily disposed, thus enabling a more sustainable catalytic process.


This work was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which is sponsored by the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U. S. Department of Energy. The research was supported in part by an appointment to the ORNL Postdoctoral Research Associates Program administered jointly by Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and ORNL.

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