Facet engineering accelerates spillover hydrogenation on highly diluted metal nanocatalysts

Lizhi Jiang, Kunlong Liu, Sung Fu Hung, Lingyun Zhou, Ruixuan Qin, Qinghua Zhang, Pengxin Liu, Lin Gu, Hao Ming Chen, Gang Fu*, Nanfeng Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


Hydrogen spillover is a well-known phenomenon in heterogeneous catalysis; it involves H2 cleavage on an active metal followed by the migration of dissociated H species over an ‘inert’ support1–5. Although catalytic hydrogenation using the spilled H species, namely, spillover hydrogenation, has long been proposed, very limited knowledge has been obtained about what kind of support structure is required to achieve spillover hydrogenation1,5. By dispersing Pd atoms onto Cu nanomaterials with different exposed facets, Cu(111) and Cu(100), we demonstrate in this work that while the hydrogen spillover from Pd to Cu is facet independent, the spillover hydrogenation only occurs on Pd1/Cu(100), where the hydrogen atoms spilled from Pd are readily utilized for the semi-hydrogenation of alkynes. This work thus helps to create an effective method for fabricating cost-effective nanocatalysts with an extremely low Pd loading, at the level of 50 ppm, toward the semi-hydrogenation of a broad range of alkynes with extremely high activity and selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature nanotechnology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


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