The research group led by Prof. FU Qiang and Prof. BAO Xinhe from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinse Academy of Sciences has performed systematic researches in surface chemistry and catalysis confined under two-dimensional materials. Recently, they have been invited to write a review paper in Chemical Society Review, which has been recently published with the title of “Surface chemistry and catalysis confined under two-dimensional materials” (Chem. Soc. Rev., 2017, 46, 1842-1874).
The newly emerging two-dimensional materials such as graphene and h-BN have attracted increasing attentions in physics, chemistry, and material science communities because of their unique atomic structure and electronic properties. The research team in the State Key Lab of Catalysis has done some pioneering works on surface chemistry confined under two-dimensional materials. They observed molecule intercalation of graphene and h-BN layers supported on metal surfaces (J Phys Chem C 2009, 113, 8296-8301; Angew Chem Int Ed 2012, 2012, 51, 4856-4859). Furthermore, enhanced surface reactions were reported on metal surfaces covered by the graphene or h-BN overlayers due to confinement effect of the 2D covers (PNAS 2014, 111, 17023-17028; Nano Lett 2015, 15, 3616-3623； Nat Nanotechnol 2016, 11, 218-230). Accordingly a concept of “Chemistry under 2D Cover” has been suggested. In this review, it has been demonstrated that surface chemistry and catalysis are strongly modulated by the 2D covers, resulting in weakened molecule adsorption and enhanced surface reactions. The confinement effect of the 2D cover leads to new chemistry in a small space, such as “catalysis under cover” and “electrochemistry under cover”. These new concepts enable us to design advanced nanocatalysts encapsulated with 2D material shells which may present improved performance in many important processes of heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry, and energy conversion (ACS Catal 2016, 6, 6814-6822).
These works are supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Basic Research Program of China, Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (2011. iChEM).(Text and Image by NING Yanxiao)