Multifunctional Janus Nanoparticles Enabling Sequential Spatio-Selective Biofunctionalization for Novel Therapeutic Applications:
Spatially-Resolved Nature-Inspired Functional Materials to Solve Catalyst-Catalyst Incompatibility:
To achieve efficient catalytic reactions, chemists have sought multi-step tandem processes using multi-catalytic homogeneous systems. However, catalyst deactivation from catalyst-catalyst incompatibility is a major problem. As exemplified by many catalytic enzyme assemblies, catalyst site-isolation is a powerful strategy for performing tandem catalytic reactions. One of our aims is to obtain biomimetic materials by exploiting porous nanomaterials thin films to create useful site-isolated multi-functional catalysts that are inherently inaccessible in analogous homogeneous systems and, indeed, unprecedented in catalysis.
We are working on solutions based on high-precision nanofabrication techniques e.g. molecular epitaxy to the catalyst-catalyst incompatibility problem by spatially fixing the incompatible catalysts in nano-scale proximity. We aim to demonstrate the applicability of our approach as a powerful tool to the current catalytic challenges, especially in the area of energy sustainability in particular photocatalytic hydroformylation–hydrogenation and hydrocarbon elongation, as well as the area of radiochemistry (Positron Emission Tomography) for biomedical imaging.
Ultrastable Functional Materials as Catalysts for Tandem Small Molecule Activation:
Preparation of ultrastable functional catalytic thin films based on the utilization of transition metal oxoclusters as secondary building units (SBUs) is one of our interests. The approach enables the formation of non-pillared paddlewheel-based topologies in an epitaxial fashion for the first time leading to novel applications such as catalysis under non-ambient conditions e.g. acidic/basic pHs or high temperatures that are not tolerated by other materials. As such, a tandem nature-inspired pH switchable hydrogen storage using carbon dioxide to formic acid followed by formic acid hydrogenation to methanol is one of our interests:
In addition, the resulting unique node structures within the thin films allows for single-site metalation of nodes leading to well-defined single-site catalytic centers for tandem reactions in the synthesis of biologically interesting compounds and small molecule activation.