CORDIS - EU research results

Plasmon-Driven Catalysis on Bimetallic Nanostructures: Au-Pd for the Selective Oxygenation of Hydrocarbons

Project description

Harnessing photons, electrons and nanoparticles to catalyse hydrocarbon transformation

Hydrocarbons, chemical compounds consisting primarily of hydrogen and carbon, are the main components of crude oil, natural gas and coal. Transforming them into oxygen-containing compounds via oxygenation yields useful high value-added products and intermediates for the fine chemical industry. However, fostering these reactions via activation of carbon-hydrogen bonds is still a challenge and often leads to low yields and unwanted by-products. The EU-funded PLACABIN project will employ computational and experimental methods to develop a novel photocatalysis-based approach to selective hydrocarbon oxidation using bimetallic nanostructures. Careful characterisation of processes from the single-particle to ensemble levels will enhance control and applicability.


In PLACABIN, the candidate proposes a novel mode of plasmonic-nonplasmonic bimetallic photocatalysts based on the intermetallic effects between the plasmonic metal and catalytic metal. As a specific model, Au-Pd bimetallic nanostructures will be developed for the selective oxygenation of hydrocarbons, among which methane, cyclohexane, and toluene are adopted as the substrates. He will first syntheses Au-Pd bimetallic nanostructures and clarify their structure-activity relationship (WP1). Then he will make major effects to reveal the intermetallic effects between Au and Pd which contain optical and electronic coupling (WP2) and the plasmon-driven selective mechanism (WP3) through combined computational and experimental methods on both ensemble and single-particle levels. Based on these theoretical achievements, he will develop a designing principle guiding the construction of effective Au-Pd bimetallic nanostructures for plasmon-driven catalysis, which will be smoothly extended to other plasmonic-nonplasmonic bimetallic nanostructures. He will also develop a flow photochemical selective catalysis system based on Au-Pd bimetallic photocatalysts (WP4) to provide an application paradigm of this solar-driven procedure for selective oxidation reactions.
The candidate is an excellent researcher with the motivation and capability to conduct cutting-edge research, the skills to share and manage knowledge and supervise students. PLACABIN will generate high-impact publications guaranteeing the dissemination among academia. The well-organised outreach activities will help to communicate the results to a wider audience.
The implementation of this fellowship will contribute significantly to the professional development of the candidate to become a mature and independent researcher. It will strengthen his innovative research potential and his management and outreach skills, thus placing him in a leading position in his long-term research career.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
CF24 0DE Cardiff
United Kingdom

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Wales East Wales Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76