ACS CATALYSIS, vol.4, no.6, pp.1777-1782, 2014 (SCI-Expanded)
We report a facile synthesis of monodisperse NiPd alloy nanoparticles (NPs) and their assembly on graphene (G) to catalyze the tandem dehydrogenation of ammonia borane (AB) and hydrogenation of R-NO2 and/or R-CN to R-NH2 in aqueous methanol solutions at room temperature. The 3.4 nm NiPd alloy NPs were prepared by coreduction of nickel(II) acetate and palladium(H) acetlyacetonate by borane-tert-butylamine in oleylamine and deposition on G via a solution phase self-assembly process. G-NiPd showed composition-dependent catalysis on the tandem reaction with G-Ni30Pd70 being the most active. A variety of R-NO2 and/or R-CN derivatives were reduced selectively into R-NH2 via G-Ni30Pd70 catalyzed tandem reaction in 5-30 mm reaction time with the conversion yields reaching up to 100%. Our study demonstrates a new approach to G-NiPd-catalyzed dehydrogenation of AB and hydrogenation of R-NO2 and R-CN. The G-NiPd NP catalyst is efficient and reusable, and the reaction can be performed in an environment-friendly process with short reaction times and high yields.