Scientific reports

Sintering-Resistant Nanoparticles in Wide-Mouthed Compartments for Sustained Catalytic Performance.

PMID 28155906


Particle sintering is one of the most significant impediments to functional nanoparticles in many valuable applications especially catalysis. Herein, we report that sintering-resistant nanoparticle systems can be realized through a simple materials-design which maximizes the particle-to-particle traveling distance of neighbouring nanoparticles. As a demonstration, Pt nanoparticles were placed apart from each other in wide-mouthed compartments tailored on the surface of self-assembled silica nanosheets. These Pt nanoparticles retained their particle size after calcination at elevated temperatures because the compartment wall elongates the particle-to-particle traveling distance to preclude the possibility of sintering. Moreover, these Pt nanoparticles in wide-mouthed compartments were fully accessible to the environment and exhibited much higher catalytic activity for CO oxidation than the nanoparticles confined in the nanochannels of mesoporous silica. The proposed materials-design strategy is applicable not only to industrial catalysts operating in harsh conditions, but also opens up possibilities in developing advanced nanoparticle-based materials with sustained performance.