Ben Liu

Ben Liu
Sichuan University | SCU · College of Chemistry

Professor

About

90
Publications
12,594
Reads
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2,587
Citations
Introduction
I am a Professor at Physical Chemistry, Sichuan University. The research interests in our group focus on rational design and controllable synthesis of nanostructured metal-based materials, especially mesoporous metals, in catalysis and energy-related applications. See details in our group website: benliugroup.com. Please contract me via email (ben.liu at scu.edu.cn) for postdoc, PhD or Master students if you are interesting in our research. 如果你对我们实验室的研究感兴趣,请联系我们。欢迎博士后、博士和硕士研究生、本科生加入我们团队。
Additional affiliations
January 2021 - February 2022
Sichuan University
Position
  • PI
August 2017 - August 2021
Nanjing Normal University
Position
  • PI
Description
  • benliugroup.com
October 2014 - July 2017
University of Connecticut
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2009 - November 2013
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Field of study
  • Chemistry
September 2007 - July 2009
Beijing Institute of Technology
Field of study
  • Chemistry
September 2003 - July 2007
Hefei University of Technology
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (90)
Article
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The ability to manipulate metal nanocrystals with well‐defined morphologies and structures is greatly important in material chemistry, catalysis chemistry, nanoscience and nanotechnology. Although two‐dimensional (2D) metals serve as interesting platforms, further manipulating them in solution with highly penetrated mesopores and ideal crystallinit...
Article
Ordered intermetallic platinum‐zinc (I‐PtZn) bimetals represent an emerging class of alloy electrocatalysts for water splitting and fuel cell electrocatalysis, but large‐scale commercial implementation has still been hindered by their catalytic activity and stability. Here, ordered mesoporous I‐PtZn bimetals are selectively substituted with 3d tran...
Article
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As second‐generation mesoporous materials, mesoporous noble metals (NMs) are of significant interest for their wide applications in catalysis, sensing, bioimaging, and biotherapy owing to their structural and metallic features. The introduction of interior hollow cavity into NM‐based mesoporous nanoparticles (MNs), which subtly integrate hierarchic...
Article
Mesoporous metal nanostructures have offered multiple advantages that cannot be realized elsewhere. These materials have been attracting more research attention in catalysis and electrocatalysis owing to their functional structures and compositions. Of the various mesoporous metals available, mesoporous gold (mesoAu) nanostructures are of special i...
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Catalytic selectivity is a central issue in the efficiency of catalytic processes. A large number of strategies have been developed to improve the catalytic selectivity of metal catalysts at the atomic and molecular levels, for instance, alloying secondary elements, fabricating metal-support interactions, and introducing surface ligands. Recently,...
Article
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合金化可以调节贵金属纳米材料的物理化学性质,从而显著提升它们的电催化性能。尽管合金化在过去的20多年里已取得诸多成果,但是如何充分发挥纳米合金的组分优势仍需深入的探究。本研究通过一步溶液相合成法实现了类金属硼(B)合金化的钯基介孔纳米催化剂材料的合成,同时探究了B原子的组分优势和介孔形貌的结构优势在碱性介质中电化学甲醇氧化反应(MOR)的协同作用。最优PdCuB介孔纳米催化剂表现出优异的电化学MOR活性和稳定性。机理研究表明,优异的催化活性源于B原子在Pd基介孔纳米催化剂中的积极协同作用;该协同作用通过电子效应(改变Pd的表面电子结构从而减弱CO基中间体的吸附)和双功能效应(促进OH-的吸附从而氧化CO基中间体)在动力学上加速了有毒CO基中间体的去除(提高甲醇氧化的决速步骤)。同时,B原子的...
Article
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Intermetallic nanomaterials with stoichiometrically atomic orderliness have extensive potential applications in catalysis and electrocatalysis. However, the synthesis of intermetallic nanomaterials with precisely controlled macroscopic morphology and mesoscopic structure is still out‐of‐reach, limiting their practical applications to some extent. H...
Article
We reported mesoporosity engineering as a general strategy to promote semihydrogenation selectivity of palladium (Pd)-based nanobundles catalysts. The best mesoporous PdP displayed full conversion, remarkable activity, excellent selectivity, and high stability in semihydrogenation of 1-phenyl-1-propyne, all of which are remarkably better than comme...
Article
Mesoporous metals have received increasing attention in catalysis and related applications because of their novel physicochemical properties and functional geometric features. Control of multicomponent compositions and crystalline structures of mesoporous metals is critical for their applications. Recently, mesoporous metals have gradually expanded...
Article
Atomically ordered Rh2P nanocluster encapsulated within a high-surface-area hollow mesoporous carbon nanoreactor (Rh2P@HMC) is catalytically active for hydrogen production via electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and room-temperature dehydrogenation of ammonia...
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Hollow mesoporous metals have unique potentials for catalysis, but precise synthesis of the hollow mesoporous metals and further elaboration of their structure-performance relationships are still huge challenges. Herein, we report a new synthetic strategy, named as the Kirkendall effect in synergistic template (KEST), for the desired preparation of...
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Catalysts for photochemical reactions underlie many foundations in our lives, from natural light harvesting to modern energy storage and conversion, including processes such as water photolysis by TiO2. Recently, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have attracted large interest within the chemical research community, as their structural variety and tun...
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Mesoporous single crystals have unique potentials in catalysis, but remain unexplored owing to their grand synthetic challenge. Herein, we report a facile soft-template method to prepare palladium and palladium alloy nanocubes with single-crystallinity and abundant mesoporosity. The successful formation of these exotic nanostructures essentially re...
Article
Engineering crystalline structures/defects and elemental compositions is synthetically critical to optimize surface features of noble metal nanocrystals and thus improve their catalytic performances in various reactions. In this manuscript, we report a facile one-step aqueous synthesis of one-dimensional (1D) noble metal-metalloid alloy nanowires (...
Article
Ammonia borane (AB) has received growing research interest as one of the most promising hydrogen-storage carrier materials. However, fast dehydrogenation of AB is still limited by sluggish catalytic kinetics over current catalysts. Herein, highly uniform and ultrafine bimetallic RhNi alloy nanoclusters encapsulated within nitrogen-functionalized ho...
Article
Ternary noble metal-metalloid-nonmetal PdBS alloy mesoporous nanospheres (MSs) with three-dimensional central-radial pore channels were prepared for an electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction. The synthesis was performed via precise control in the reduction and nucleation growth of ternary PdBS alloy MSs along confined cylinder mesophases asse...
Article
Engineering delicate structures/morphologies and coordinated components of electrocatalysts is of great importance to optimize physicochemical properties of materials and thus enhance their electrocatalytic performance. Herein, we demonstrate a facile sequential template-engaged strategy for fabricating Co-Ni-Fe phosphide hollow nanoboxes with hier...
Article
Noble metal alloy nanowires (NWs) with ultrathin diameters (2–3 nm) and precisely controllable elemental compositions have attracted dramatically growing attention for (electro)catalysis. Despites numerous achievements in past two decades, noble metal alloy NWs are mostly synthesized with the traditional oil-phase methods that suffer from some unde...
Article
Porous features of mesoporous metal nanocrystals are critically important for their applications in catalysis, sorption, and biomedicine and bioimaging. However, precisely engineering porous architectures of mesoporous metals is still highly challenging. Herein, we report a facile soft-templating strategy to precisely engineer porous architectures...
Article
Exploring highly efficient nanocatalysts for hydrogen (H2) production from catalytic hydrolysis of ammonia borane (AB) under ambient conditions and further unveiling their catalytic mechanism are of critical importance for renewable energy conversion technologies but remain big challenges. Herein, ultrafine binary RuP alloy nanoclusters homogeneous...
Article
Highly branched PdP nanosheets (NSs) rich in defects and with a thickness of ∼3.2 nm were synthesized, for the first time, via a nanoconfined attachment growth mechanism inside assembled lamellar micelles. Owing to the synergistic structural (being a highly branched, ultrathin, and defect-rich material) and compositional (P-alloyed) advantages, the...
Article
Full-text available
Rational design and synthesis of noble metal nanomaterials with desired crystal phases (atomic level) and controllable structures/morphologies (mesoscopic level) are paramount for modulating their physiochemical properties. However, it is challenging to simultaneously explore atomic crystal-phase structures and ordered mesoscopic morphologies. Here...
Article
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Semi-hydrogenation of alkynes to alkenes is one of the most important industrial reactions. However, it remains technically challenging to obtain high alkene selectivity especially at a high alkyne conversion because of kinetically favorable over hydrogenation. In this contribution, we show that supported ultrasmall Pt nanoparticles (2.5 nm) on mes...
Article
Mesoporous metallic nanospheres with asymmetric nanostructure and radially opened nanochannel are significant importance for their application in nanoencapsulations and highly efficient mass transport nanosystems. Herein, we develop a facile approach that can produce asymmetric multimetallic mesoporous hemispheres (MHSs) by using amphiphilic diocta...
Article
Alloying is one of the most promising routes to tune the physicochemical properties of noble metal (NM)-based nanocatalysts and thus improve their (electro)catalytic performance. Despites numerous achievements, bimetallic and trimetallic nanoalloys are still the research focus in the past two decades. In this study, metalloid boron (B) was alloyed...
Article
Engineering material nanostructures is key of developing renewable energy technologies for lithium-ion batteries, but remains a long-term research challenge. In this manuscript, heterostructured NiO/NiCo2O4 nanoprisms with hierarchically hollow cavity and porous framework are rationally designed and further encapsulated in graphene oxide (NiO/[emai...
Article
Hierarchically macroporous-mesoporous (HMMP) Cu/Zn alloy catalysts are reported to promote CO2 electroreduction towards liquid C2 products. HMMP Cu/Zn alloys with two types of distinct pores (∼320 nm and ∼20 nm) and adjustable alloy compositions are prepared through the interfacial self-assembly of two polymer templates and metal precursors. Due to...
Article
Three kinds of plasmonic mesoporous AuAg nanospheres (mesoAuAg), including well-alloyed mesoAuAg, hollow mesoAuAg, and core-shell Ag-mesoAu, were successfully synthesized by carefully controlling reduction kinetics of metal precursors in the presence...
Article
Hollow gold (Au)-based nanostructures have recently been developed for various applications. However, current nanosynthesis approaches have not yet successfully implemented for hollow Au-based nanostructures with uniform and well-defined mesoporous shell frameworks. Here, we develop an easy one-pot seedless strategy for fabricating hollow mesoporou...
Article
Designing highly efficient and cheap nanocatalysts for room-temperature hydrolysis of ammonia borane (AB) is of great significance for their real application in hydrogen (H2)-based fuel cells. Here, we report a kind of noble metal (NM)-free hybrid nanocatalysts composed of heterostructured Cu@CuCoOx nanoparticles and a graphene oxide support (denot...
Article
We report a self-limiting growth method of ultrasmall Pd-containing bimetallic nanocatalysts supported on carbon through under temperature reduction (UTR). The UTR phenomenon is observed for the (co)reduction of a second base metal precursor (M = Co, Ni, and Zn) below its thermodynamic reduction temperature in the presence of Pd. The origin of the...
Article
Electrochemical non‐enzymatic sensors have exhibited great potentials for prompt and efficient detection of glucose. We herein report a novel, highly efficient electrochemical non‐enzymatic glucose sensor based on ultrathin PdAg single‐crystalline nanowires (NWs). Ultrathin PdAg NWs are fabricated by a facile one‐pot aqueous synthesis via in situ g...
Article
We report rational design and syntheses of ternary noble metal-metalloid-nonmetal alloys nanowires (NWs) as a novel electrocatalyst for electrochemical ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR). This novel electrocatalyst is formed in an aqueous solution via anisotropic nucleation and growth of ternary PdBP alloy NWs along assembled cylinder template of Plu...
Article
Mesoporous transition metal oxides with crystalline walls show promising applications in catalysis and energy storage. Syntheses of those crystalline mesoporous oxides, however, currently remain as an unmet challenge because of the large volume shrinkage during crystallization in a sol-gel process. Here, we demonstrate a facile and general template...
Article
Fluorochromic materials that change their emission properties in response to their environment are of interests for the development of sensors, optical data storage and light-emitting materials. A thermally fluorochromic elastic polymer film that exhibits remarkable fluorochromism (from red to yellow) and enhancement of fluorescence intensity after...
Article
We report the syntheses of mesoporous Au/TiO2 hybrid photocatalysts with ordered and crystalline frameworks using co-assembly of organosilane-containing colloidal-amphiphile-micelles (CAMs) and poly(ethylene oxide)-modified gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as templates. The assembled CAMs can convert to inorganic silica during calcination at elevated tem...
Article
The self-assembly of inorganic nanoparticles is of great importance in realizing their enormous potentials for broad applications due to the advanced collective properties of nanoparticle ensembles. Various molecular ligands (e.g., small molecules, DNAs, proteins, and polymers) have been used to assist the organization of inorganic nanoparticles in...
Article
Bimetallic nanoalloys have attracted great research interest in the past decades by virtue of their tunable metal‐metal synergies. The preparation of well‐defined bimetallic nanoalloys largely relies on the use of capping ligands, which brings a great challenge to utilize the surface‐accessible active sites and/or tailor bimetallic‐support interact...
Article
We report that heterostructural NiO/Ni nanoparticles remarkably promote the catalytic H2 production of platinum (Pt) nanoclusters in the hydrolysis of ammonia borane (AB). A hybrid nanocatalyst composing of ultrasmall Pt nanoclusters, heterostructured NiO/Ni nanoparticles, and a carbon nanotube (CNT) support (defined as [email protected]/Ni-CNT) is...
Article
Noble-metal-metalloid binary palladium-boron (Pd-B) nanoalloys are interesting because the smaller boron atoms enlarge the Pd-Pd interlattice spacings and modify the binding energy barriers of catalytic intermediates. Nanostructured morphologies of binary Pd-B nanoalloys are an emerging class of (electro)catalysts that leverage these properties to...
Article
The stability of metal nanocatalysts for electrocatalytic CO2 reduction is of key importance for any practical application. We report the use of two polymeric N‐heretocyclic carbenes (NHC) (polydentate and monodentate) to stabilize metal nanocatalysts (Au and Pd) for efficient CO2 electroreduction. Compared with other conventional ligands including...
Article
A one-pot soft-templating method is reported to fabricate nanosized bimetallic PdAg hollow mesoporous nanospheres (HMSs) for electrocatalytic ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR). The synthesis relies on the “dual-template” surfactant of dioctadecyldimethylammonium chloride that drives in-situ growth of mesoporous frameworks on the surface of vesicles...
Article
Janus nanoparticles (NPs) containing two chemically distinct materials in one system are of great significance for catalysis in terms of harnessing catalytic synergies that are not exist in either component. We herein present a novel synthetic method of two Janus-type MnOx-Ag and MnOx-AgI NPs for efficient photochemical water oxidation. The synthes...
Article
Full-text available
Mesoporous gold (mesoAu) nanospheres support enhanced (electro)catalytic performance owing to their three-dimensional (3D) interior mesochannels that expose abundant active sites and facilitate electron/mass transfers. Although various porous Au nanostructures have been fabricated by electrochemical reduction, alloying-dealloying and hard/soft temp...
Article
Noble metal-phosphorus (NMP)alloys have received special attention in the electrocatalysis. Despite a few efforts, the fabrication of anisotropic multicomponent NMPs is largely unsuccessful. Here we develop a facile yet general surfactant-directed aqueous synthesis for one-dimensional (1D)ternary PdCuP alloy nanowires (NWs), and demonstrate their s...
Article
Ultrathin multimetallic nanosheets are widely recognized as the high-efficiency electrocatalysts for alcohol electrooxidation, due to synergistically structural and compositional advantages. Despite great efforts, however, the current synthetic strategies for the preparation of multimetallic nanosheets focus mainly on the reduction of metal precurs...
Article
Electrocatalytic performance of noble metal-based nanocatalysts greatly depends on the structure/morphology and composition, which can be precisely tailored by the control over synthetic parameters. In this work, a simple one-step fabrication of hierarchically trimetallic core-shell Au@PdAuCu mesoporous nanospheres (MNSs) was realized via successiv...
Article
Rational design and synthesis of highly efficient nanocatalysts toward electrochemical ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) are of great importance for practical applications in direct ethanol fuel cells. Nanoengineering the nanostructures and compositions of EOR electrocatalysts has been of significnat interest because these paratmeters can enhance el...
Article
In this work, we successfully prepare two-dimensional ultrathin single-crystalline platinum nanodendrites (PtNDs) with precisely controlled generation (size) through a surfactant-directing solution-phase synthesis. Amphiphilic surfactant of C22H45-N+(CH3)2CH2COOH (Br-) acts as the structure-directing template and facet-capping agent simultaneously...
Article
Full-text available
Mesoporous non-siliceous materials, in particular mesoporous transition metal oxides (m-TMOs), are of interest due to their fascinating electronic, redox, and magnetic properties for a wide range of applications in catalysis and energy storage. Control of the porosity (e.g., pore size, wall thickness, and surface area) and the crystalline degree (e...
Article
Full-text available
Mesoporous noble metal nanocrystals have exhibited significant potentials in the electrocatalysis. However, it remains a big challenge to controllably synthesize sub-100 nm multimetallic mesoporous nanospheres (MNSs) with precisely tunable sizes and to further understand their size-dependent electrocatalytic performances. In this manuscript, a one-...
Article
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Metal nanoparticles (NPs) exhibit desired activities in various catalytic reactions. However, the aggregation and sintering of metal NPs usually cause the loss of catalytic performance in practical reaction processes. Encapsulation of catalytically active metal NPs on/within a high-surface-area inorganic support partially resolve such concerns. Mic...
Article
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Controlling the nanostructures and chemical compositions of the electrochemical nanocatalysts has been recognized as two prominent means to kinetically promote the electrocatalytic performance. Herein, we report a general "dual"-template synthesis methodology for the formation of multimetallic hollow mesoporous nanospheres (HMSs) with an adjustable...
Article
The development of the highly active nanocatalysts for effective hydrogen (H2) production is of great significance for its practical applications in fuel cells. Herein, we reported a facile and scale‐up synthetic methodology to grow in situ the remarkably active nanocatalysts of ultrasmall Ru nanoclusters on nitrogen (N)‐enriched hierarchically mac...
Article
Au is one of the most promising electrocatalysts to convert CO2 to CO in an aqueous-phase electrochemical reduction. However, ultrasmall Au nanocatalysts (AuNCs, < 2 nm) have proven to be favorable for water reduction over CO2, although they possess a large surface-to-volume ratio and potentially are ideal for CO2 reduction. We herein report that u...
Article
We report a bottom‐up synthetic methodology to encapsulate pre‐synthesized, well‐defined gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) into mesoporous titanium dioxide framework (Au@mTiO2). This method employs two structurally and chemically similar templates of amphiphilic block copolymers as well as poly(ethylene oxide)‐tethered AuNPs, which showed excellent stabil...
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We report a facile bottom-up synthetic approach to preparing ultrathin two-dimensional (2D) palladium nanosheets (PdNSs) with selectively exposed surface facets. Our synthetic strategy is based on the utilization of the nanoconfined lamellar mesophases of amphiphilic functional surfactants to template the growth of PdNSs in aqueous solution. Prefer...
Article
Bimetallic nanoparticles (NPs) show interesting synergy to enhance the activity and durability in electrocatalytic alcohol oxidation compared to single-component metal NPs. The synthesis of bimetallic NPs often carried out in solution brings challenges in separating, loading and dispersing these NPs on conductive carbon supports. We herein report t...
Article
We report the use of phosphorus-doped carbon (P-C) as support to grow ultrasmall (1-3 nm) and ligand-free precious metal nanocrystals (PMNCs) via chemical reduction. We show that the valence states of surface phosphorus species are critical in tuning the affinity between the carbon support and metal precursors, which rationally controls the loading...
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A general synthetic methodology is reported to grow ultrafine cobalt-based nanoparticles (NPs, 2-7 nm) within high-surface-area mesoporous carbon (MC) frameworks. Our design strategy is based on colloidal amphiphile (CAM) templated oxidative self-polymerization of dopamine. The CAM templates consisting of a hydrophobic silica-like core and a hydrop...
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Synthesis of nanostructured transition metal sulfides is of particular interest in providing new methods to control their porosity and improve their surface area, since those sulfides hold promising applications in high-energy density devices. Significant challenges remain so far to prepare metal sulfides having three-dimensional (3-D) continuous m...
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The rational design of the Au-support electronic interaction is crucial for Au nanocatalysis. We herein report the first observation of electronic perturbation at the Au-carbon interface and its application in controlling the reaction selectivity in styrene oxidation. Ultrasmall Au nanocatalysts were grown in situ on a nitrided carbon support where...
Article
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Loading catalytically active, aggregation-free and thermally stable metal nanoparticles (NPs) on a high surface area support represents a major interest in heterogeneous catalysis. Current synthetic approaches of these hybrid catalysts, however, still lack controllability in thermal stability of metal NPs, particularly at high temperatures in the a...