Ionic organic cage-encapsulating phase-transferable metal clusters.


MOE Key Laboratory of Cluster Science , Beijing Key Laboratory of Photoelectronic/Electrophotonic Conversion Materials , School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering , Beijing Institute of Technology , Beijing , P. R. China . Email: [Email]


Exploration of metal clusters (MCs) adaptive to both aqueous and oil phases without disturbing their size is promising for a broad scope of applications. The state-of-the-art approach via ligand-binding may perturb MCs' size due to varied metal-ligand binding strength when shuttling between solvents of different polarity. Herein, we applied physical confinement of a series of small noble MCs (<1 nm) inside ionic organic cages (I-Cages), which by means of anion exchange enables reversible transfer of MCs between aqueous and hydrophobic solutions without varying their ultrasmall size. Moreover, the MCs@I-Cage hybrid serves as a recyclable, reaction-switchable catalyst featuring high activity in liquid-phase NH3BH3 (AB) hydrolysis reaction with a turnover frequency (TOF) of 115 min-1.

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