The Co-N-C Catalyst Synthesized With a Hard-Template and Etching Method to Achieve Well-Dispersed Active Sites for Ethylbenzene Oxidation.
ABSTRACT: Biomass obtained from organic residues gradually becomes one of the optimal renewable feedstock of value added chemicals. Herein, the Co-N-C catalyst was prepared via a hard-template and etching method using the casein as C and N sources, magnesium oxide as the template, and cobalt porphyrin as the metal precursor. The obtained Co-N-C catalyst exhibited excellent catalytic performance for selective oxidation of ethylbenzene with a conversion rate of 96.5% under mild conditions. Moreover, the catalysts were investigated by techniques such as BET, XRD, Raman, transmission electron microscopic (TEM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results showed that the etching progress could improve the dispersion of Co and the exposure of active sites. Herein, the efficient oxidation of ethylbenzene was attributed to the well-dispersed Co-N species and the increased specific surface area.
Project description:Traditionally, a catalyst functions by direct interaction with reactants. In a new noncontact catalytic system (NCCS), an intermediate produced by one catalytic reaction serves as an intermediary to enable an independent reaction to proceed. An example is the selective oxidation of ethylbenzene, which could not occur in the presence of either solubilized Au nanoclusters or cyclooctene, but proceeded readily when both were present simultaneously. The Au-initiated selective epoxidation of cyclooctene generated cyclooctenyl peroxy and oxy radicals that served as intermediaries to initiate the ethylbenzene oxidation. This combined system effectively extended the catalytic effect of Au. The reaction mechanism was supported by reaction kinetics and spin trap experiments. NCCS enables parallel reactions to proceed without the constraints of stoichiometric relationships, offering new degrees of freedom in industrial hydrocarbon co-oxidation processes.
Project description:The first step in anaerobic ethylbenzene mineralization in denitrifying Azoarcus sp. strain EB1 is the oxidation of ethylbenzene to (S)-(-)-1-phenylethanol. Ethylbenzene dehydrogenase, which catalyzes this reaction, is a unique enzyme in that it mediates the stereoselective hydroxylation of an aromatic hydrocarbon in the absence of molecular oxygen. We purified ethylbenzene dehydrogenase to apparent homogeneity and showed that the enzyme is a heterotrimer (alphabetagamma) with subunit masses of 100 kDa (alpha), 35 kDa (beta), and 25 kDa (gamma). Purified ethylbenzene dehydrogenase contains approximately 0.5 mol of molybdenum, 16 mol of iron, and 15 mol of acid-labile sulfur per mol of holoenzyme, as well as a molydopterin cofactor. In addition to ethylbenzene, purified ethylbenzene dehydrogenase was found to oxidize 4-fluoro-ethylbenzene and the nonaromatic hydrocarbons 3-methyl-2-pentene and ethylidenecyclohexane. Sequencing of the encoding genes revealed that ebdA encodes the alpha subunit, a 974-amino-acid polypeptide containing a molybdopterin-binding domain. The ebdB gene encodes the beta subunit, a 352-amino-acid polypeptide with several 4Fe-4S binding domains. The ebdC gene encodes the gamma subunit, a 214-amino-acid polypeptide that is a potential membrane anchor subunit. Sequence analysis and biochemical data suggest that ethylbenzene dehydrogenase is a novel member of the dimethyl sulfoxide reductase family of molybdopterin-containing enzymes.
Project description:In this work, we investigate the transport processes governing the metal-assisted chemical etching (MacEtch) of silicon (Si). We show that in the oxidation of Si during the MacEtch process, the transport of the hole charges can be accomplished by the diffusion of metal ions. The oxidation of Si is subsequently governed by a redox reaction between the ions and Si. This represents a fundamentally different proposition in MacEtch whereby such transport is understood to occur through hole carrier conduction followed by hole injection into (or electron extraction from) Si. Consistent with the ion transport model introduced, we showed the possibility in the dynamic redistribution of the metal atoms that resulted in the formation of pores/cracks for catalyst thin films that are ?30?nm thick. As such, the transport of the reagents and by-products are accomplished via these pores/cracks for the thin catalyst films. For thicker films, we show a saturation in the etch rate demonstrating a transport process that is dominated by diffusion via metal/Si boundaries. The new understanding in transport processes described in this work reconcile competing models in reagents/by-products transport, and also solution ions and thin film etching, which can form the foundation of future studies in the MacEtch process.
Project description:The combination of metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) with colloidal lithography has emerged as a simple and cost-effective approach to nanostructure silicon. It is especially efficient at synthesizing Si micro- and nanowire arrays using a catalytic metal mesh, which sinks into the silicon substrate during the etching process. The approach provides a precise control over the array geometry, without requiring expensive nanopatterning techniques. Although MACE is a high-throughput solution-based approach, achieving large-scale homogeneity can be challenging because of the instability of the metal catalyst when the experimental parameters are not set appropriately. Such instabilities can lead to metal film fracture, significantly damaging the substrate and thus compromising the nanowire array quality. Here, we report on the critical parameters that influence the stability of the metal catalyst layer for achieving large-scale homogeneous MACE: etchant composition, metal film thickness, adhesion layer thickness, nanowire diameter and pitch, metal film coverage, Si/Au/etchant interface length, and crystalline quality of the colloidal template (grain size and defects). Our results investigate the origin of the catalyst film fracture and reveal that MACE experiments should be optimized for each Si wire array geometry by keeping the etch rate below a certain threshold. We show that the Si/Au/etchant interface length also affects the etch rate and should thus be considered when optimizing the MACE experimental parameters. Finally, our results demonstrate that colloidal templates with small grain sizes (i.e., <100 ?m2) can yield significant problems during the pattern transfer because of a high density of defects at the grain boundaries that negatively affects the metal film stability. As such, this work provides guidelines for the large-scale synthesis of Si micro- and nanowire arrays via MACE, relevant for both new and experienced researchers working with MACE.
Project description:In recent years, the push to foster increased technological innovation and basic scientific and engineering interest from the broadest sectors of society has helped to accelerate the development of do-it-yourself (DIY) components, particularly those related to low-cost microcontroller boards. The attraction with DIY kits is the simplification of the intervening steps going from basic design to fabrication, albeit typically at the expense of quality. We present herein plasmon-assisted etching as an approach to extend the DIY theme to optics, specifically the table-top fabrication of planar optical components. By operating in the design space between metasurfaces and traditional flat optical components, we employ arrays of Au pillar-supported bowtie nanoantennas as a template structure. To demonstrate, we fabricate a Fresnel zone plate, diffraction grating and holographic mode converter--all using the same template. Applications to nanotweezers and fabricating heterogeneous nanoantennas are also shown.
Project description:For decades, fabrication of semiconductor devices has utilized well-established etching techniques to create complex nanostructures in silicon. The most common dry process is reactive ion etching which fabricates nanostructures through the selective removal of unmasked silicon. Generalized enhancements of etching have been reported with mask-enhanced etching with Al, Cr, Cu, and Ag masks, but there is a lack of reports exploring the ability of metallic films to catalytically enhance the local etching of silicon in plasmas. Here, metal-assisted plasma etching (MAPE) is performed using patterned nanometers-thick gold films to catalyze the etching of silicon in an SF6/O2 mixed plasma, selectively increasing the rate of etching by over 1000%. The catalytic enhancement of etching requires direct Si-metal interfacial contact, similar to metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE), but is different in terms of the etching mechanism. The mechanism of MAPE is explored by characterizing the degree of enhancement as a function of Au catalyst configuration and relative oxygen feed concentration, along with the catalytic activities of other common MACE metals including Ag, Pt, and Cu.
Project description:We demonstrate controlled fabrication of porous Si (PS) and vertically aligned silicon nanowires array starting from bulk silicon wafer by simple chemical etching method, and the underlying mechanism of nanostructure formation is presented. Silicon-oxidation rate and the electron-scavenging rate from metal catalysis play a vital role in determining the morphology of Si nanostructures. The size of Ag catalyst is found to influence the Si oxidation rate. Tunable morphologies from irregular porous to regular nanowire structure could be tailored by controlling the size of Ag nanoparticles and H2O2 concentration. Ag nanoparticles of size around 30 nm resulted in irregular porous structures, whereas discontinuous Ag film yielded nanowire structures. The depth of the porous Si structures and the aspect ratio of Si nanowires depend on H2O2 concentration. For a fixed etching time, the depth of the porous structures increases on increasing the H2O2 concentration. By varying the H2O2 concentration, the surface porosity and aspect ratio of the nanowires were controlled. Controlling the Ag catalyst size critically affects the morphology of the etched Si nanostructures. H2O2 concentration decides the degree of porosity of porous silicon, dimensions and surface porosity of silicon nanowires, and etch depth. The mechanisms of the size- and H2O2-concentration-dependent dissociation of Ag and the formation of porous silicon and silicon nanowire are described in detail.
Project description:Etching of gold with an excess of thiol ligand is used in both synthesis and analysis of gold particles. Mechanistically, the process of etching gold with excess thiol is unclear. Previous studies have obliquely considered the role of oxygen in thiolate etching of gold. Herein, we show that oxygen or a radical initiator is a necessary component for efficient etching of gold by thiolates. Attenuation of the etching process by radical scavengers in the presence of oxygen, and the restoration of activity by radical initiators under inert atmosphere, strongly implicate the oxygen radical. These data led us to propose an atomistic mechanism in which the oxygen radical initiates the etching process.
Project description:Anisotropic materials, like carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are the perfect substitutes to overcome the limitations of conventional metamaterials; however, the successful fabrication of CNT forest metamaterial structures is still very challenging. In this study, a new method utilizing a focused ion beam (FIB) with additional secondary etching is presented, which can obtain uniform and fine patterning of CNT forest nanostructures for metamaterials and ranging in sizes from hundreds of nanometers to several micrometers. The influence of the FIB processing parameters on the morphology of the catalyst surface and the growth of the CNT forest was investigated, including the removal of redeposited material, decreasing the average surface roughness (from 0.45 to 0.15 nm), and a decrease in the thickness of the Fe catalyst. The results showed that the combination of FIB patterning and secondary etching enabled the growth of highly aligned, high-density CNT forest metamaterials. The improvement in the quality of single-walled CNTs (SWNTs), defined by the very high G/D peak ratio intensity of 10.47, demonstrated successful fine patterning of CNT forest for the first time. With a FIB patterning depth of 10 nm and a secondary etching of 0.5 nm, a minimum size of 150 nm of CNT forest metamaterials was achieved. The development of the FIB secondary etching method enabled for the first time, the fabrication of SWNT forest metamaterials for the optical and infrared regime, for future applications, e.g., in superlenses, antennas, or thermal metamaterials.
Project description:The processes involved in the adaptation of animals to environmental factors such as chemicals have not yet been fully elucidated. We focused on the adaptive potential of the mouse liver against hepatotoxic chemical-induced injury. We used microarrays to determine genes with adaptive transcriptional regulation against ethylbenzene, hepatotoxic chemical, on multistep-exposure. Overall design: Four animal groups received the following treatments: phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) followed by PBS (P+P), ethylbenzene followed by PBS (E+P), PBS followed by ethylbenzene (P+E), and ethylbenzene followed by ethylbenzene (E+E). For the first exposure, ethylbenzene (7 mmol kg-1) or PBS (equivalent volume to ethylbenzene) was intraperitoneally injected twice at a 24 h interval. After 7 days of normal feeding, each animal group was treated with ethylbenzene (7 mmol kg-1) or PBS as the secondary exposure. The mice were sacrificed 5 h after the secondary exposure for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix. The number of mice of each group is as follows, P+P, E+P = 3. P+E, E+E = 5. Specimens from mice of each group were pooled, and 10 μg RNA from each pool was used for cRNA synthesis.