Isolated Transition Metal Atoms on Defect- Engineered Graphene: Synthesis and Catalytic Oxidation of Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds

Project type: 
Sponsored Projects
2020 - 2023
Principal Investigator: 
Dr. Dinesh Jagadeesan
Project Number: 
Sponsoring Agency: 
SERB - Core Research Grant (CRG)
Total Budget: 

Single atom heterogeneous catalysts (SAHCs) are an emerging class of materials that are much sought after as heterogeneous nanocatalysts. SAHCs have several isolated single atoms of an active metal anchored on the surface of a support materials such as metal oxides, SiO 2 or carbon. The most important challenge in SAHCs is the stabilization of single isolated atoms on a support during the synthesis as well as during the reaction. The stabilization is possible only if the immediate environment of the isolated adatoms is modified such that their surface aggregation do not occur. Stabilization of adatoms on graphene surface is interesting from perspective of the catalysis as well as electronic materials. It is also fundamentally challenging to stabilize the adatoms on graphene surface due to the nature of the surface. New approach to stabilize single atoms of transition metal on a defect-engineered graphene surface is much needed. The proposal aims to develop a general chemical route to obtain SAHCs of transition metals (Ti, V, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Pt, Pd) by engineering the N doping on graphene. For this purpose, graphene shall be synthesized using Chemical Vapour Deposition using liquid hydrocarbon carbon precursor. The precursor will also contain very low concentrations of N containing chelating ligands. It is expected that well-defined N containing defect sites shall be created, which will anchor the individual metal atoms firmly. The relation between the molecular structure of the ligand, defect structure created on the graphene and efficiency of anchoring the metal atoms in isolated state shall be studied spectroscopically. The proposal will also evaluate for the first time, the catalytic properties of the as prepared SAHC on N-doped Graphene (SAHC/NG) in the oxidation of indoor volatile hydrocarbons. The proposal has the potential to develop economical catalysts for indoor air purifiers in homes and automobiles.