The studies of gold-copper catalysts conducted by a DICP research team and published in the journal of Chemical Communications (LIU Xiaoyan, WANG Aiqin, ZHANG Tao, et. al, Chem. Comm., 2008, 3187-3189) has been estimated as a Research Highlight article by the NATURE (China) web.
In this work, the DICP researchers, by making use of the channel limiting effect of the ordered mesopores of SBA-15 zeolites, and combining with the easily functionalizing properties of the zeolite walls, have prepared successfully highly thermo-stable and well dispersed Au-Cu nano-sized alloys inside the zeolite channels. The alloy particles had a homogeneous size of ca. 3nm. This kind of catalysts showed high activities for CO selective oxidation under an oxygen-rich atmosphere due to the synergistic effect between the gold and copper particles.
Heterogeneous catalysis via nano-sized metal particles is a hot research topic in recent years. This DICP research team, headed by Prof. ZHANG Tao, has been engaging in the investigations of highly efficient supported catalysts through the modifying and controlling of the particles sizes of the active components, especially catalysts aiming at space-technology applications. Up to now, they have developed novel catalyst systems by means of the above mentioned techniques, such as ordered activated carbon-supported iridium catalysts (Chem. Mater. 2008, 20, 1881~1888 and nano-sized molybdenum carbide catalysts (Chem. Commun., 2008, 2565~2567).