Host: Nick Wu
Loading metal ions and nanocatalysts on polymer supports to produce “soluble” catalysts has long been used in catalysis. Harnessing synergies at the interface of polymers and inorganic catalytic components is, however, still challenging. Our group works on developing new synthetic methodologies of hybrid polymer/inorganic materials (metal ions and nanoparticles, and bulk oxides) with well-defined chemical compositions, nanostructures and synergetic functionalities. We seek to understand the role of polymers in tuning the interface of hybrid materials in order to control the catalytic properties of inorganic materials. My talk will show our recent effort on, i) the development of new synthetic methods to prepare polymer-tethered nanoparticles and explore the role of polymer tethers in the enhancing thermal stability and controlling over the accessibility/microenvironment of catalytically active metals; and ii) study the synergy of nanoparticles or metal ions with polymer frameworks to improve catalytic performance.