Single atoms and few-atom clusters of platinum are uniformly installed on the zirconia nodes of a metal-organic framework (MOF) NU-1000 via targeted vapor-phase synthesis. The catalytic Pt clusters, site-isolated by organic linkers, are shown to exhibit high catalytic activity for ethylene hydrogenation while exhibiting resistance to sintering up to 200 °C. In situ IR spectroscopy reveals the presence of both single atoms and few-atom clusters that depend upon synthesis conditions. Operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray pair distribution analyses reveal unique changes in chemical bonding environment and cluster size stability while on stream. Density functional theory calculations elucidate a favorable reaction pathway for ethylene hydrogenation with the novel catalyst. These results provide evidence that atomic layer deposition (ALD) in MOFs is a versatile approach to the rational synthesis of size-selected clusters, including noble metals, on a high surface area support.
- atomic layer deposition (ALD)
- heterogeneous catalysis
- metal–organic frameworks (MOFs)
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