ABSTRACT: The development of simply prepared and effective catalytic materials for dehydrocoupling/dehydrogenation of ammonia-borane (AB; NH(3)BH(3)) under mild conditions remains a challenge in the field of hydrogen economy and material science. Reported herein is the discovery of in situ generated ruthenium nanocatalyst as a new catalytic system for this important reaction. They are formed in situ during the dehydrogenation of AB in THF at 25 °C in the absence of any stabilizing agent starting with homogeneous Ru(cod)(cot) precatalyst (cod = 1,5-η(2)-cyclooctadiene; cot = 1,3,5-η(3)-cyclooctatriene). The preliminary characterization of the reaction solutions and the products was done by using ICP-OES, ATR-IR, TEM, XPS, ZC-TEM, GC, EA, and (11)B, (15)N, and (1)H NMR, which reveal that ruthenium nanocatalyst is generated in situ during the dehydrogenation of AB from homogeneous Ru(cod)(cot) precatalyst and B-N polymers formed at the initial stage of the catalytic reaction take part in the stabilization of this ruthenium nanocatalyst. Moreover, following the recently updated approach (Bayram, E.; et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2011, 133, 18889) by performing Hg(0), CS(2) poisoning experiments, nanofiltration, time-dependent TEM analyses, and kinetic investigation of active catalyst formation to distinguish single metal or in the present case subnanometer Ru(n) cluster-based catalysis from polymetallic Ru(0)(n) nanoparticle catalysis reveals that in situ formed Ru(n) clusters (not Ru(0)(n) nanoparticles) are kinetically dominant catalytically active species in our catalytic system. The resulting ruthenium catalyst provides 120 total turnovers over 5 h with an initial turnover frequency (TOF) value of 35 h(-1) at room temperature with the generation of more than 1.0 equiv H(2) at the complete conversion of AB to polyaminoborane (PAB; [NH(2)BH(2)](n)) and polyborazylene (PB; [NHBH](n)) units.
Langmuir 03/2012; 28(11):4908-14. · 4.19 Impact Factor