Chapter 13: Catalytic Nanoparticles in Metal–Organic Frameworks
Published:16 Aug 2021
Nano-objects, such as nanoparticles and nanoclusters, are widely used for catalysis, with a whole variety of benefits when compared to their bulk counterparts, such as higher surface-to-volume ratios resulting in more active sites. However, they also display drawbacks, particularly on account of their thermodynamic instability. Thus the need to stabilise them is a perpetual concern when using these materials, with the typical approach consisting of a strongly binding two-dimensional support to ensure that they retain their size and, consequently, their activity. Alternatively, porous materials provide a three-dimensional environment in which nanoparticles can be confined, and, in many cases, their catalytic properties are enhanced due to interactions with these supports. Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs), a particular class of crystalline porous materials built up of inorganic nodes connected by organic linkers shall be the focus of this chapter, owing to their immeasurable variability and highly appealing properties as supports. We will give an overview of the reasons to contain nanocatalysts within metal–organic frameworks, detailing the issues associated with nano-objects and the beneficial properties of these frameworks such as potential interactions with the guest nano-objects. A particular focus will be given on the effect of the nanospaces afforded by the MOFs’ pores on the properties of nanocatalysts.