Entrapment of an organometallic complex within a metal: A concept for heterogeneous catalysis

Itzik Yosef, Raed Abu-Reziq, David Avnir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


A novel family of composite materials, organically doped metals, has been recently introduced. Here, we demonstrate their use as a new platform for heterogeneous catalysis, namely the doping of a metal with a catalytic organometallic complex. Specifically, a rhodium(I) catalyst, (RhCl(COD)(Ph2P(C6H4SO3Na))), ([Rh]), was physically entrapped within silver, thus creating a new type of catalytic material: [Rh]@Ag. Several aspects were demonstrated with the development of this heterogeneous catalyst: a metal can be used as a support for heterogenizing a homogeneous catalyst; the homogeneous catalyst is stabilized by the entrapment within the metal; the products of the composite catalyst are different compared to those obtained from the homogeneous one; and the adsorption of [Rh] on the surface of Ag and its entrapment are very different processes-only the latter provided appreciable catalytic activity. Thus, while homogeneous [Rh] was entirely destroyed after converting styrene to ethylbenzne at 50%, [Rh]@Ag remained active after effecting the same reaction to a yield of 85% (compared to only 7% for [Rh] adsorbed on Ag), and while homogeneous [Rh] hydrogenated diphenylacetylene to bibenzyl (and was completely deactivated after one cycle) with no trace of cis-stilbene, [Rh]@Ag afforded that compound as the main product and could be reused.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)11880-11882
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number36
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2008


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