FeOx-supported platinum single-atom and pseudo-single-atom catalysts for chemoselective hydrogenation of functionalized nitroarenes

Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 3;5:5634. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6634.


The catalytic hydrogenation of nitroarenes is an environmentally benign technology for the production of anilines, which are key intermediates for manufacturing agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and dyes. Most of the precious metal catalysts, however, suffer from low chemoselectivity when one or more reducible groups are present in a nitroarene molecule. Herein we report FeOx-supported platinum single-atom and pseudo-single-atom structures as highly active, chemoselective and reusable catalysts for hydrogenation of a variety of substituted nitroarenes. For hydrogenation of 3-nitrostyrene, the catalyst yields a TOF of ~1,500 h(-1), 20-fold higher than the best result reported in literature, and a selectivity to 3-aminostyrene close to 99%, the best ever achieved over platinum group metals. The superior performance can be attributed to the presence of positively charged platinum centres and the absence of Pt-Pt metallic bonding, both of which favour the preferential adsorption of nitro groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't