Chemistry Seminar

Dr. Wenyu Huang Iowa State University

Date & Time:

Friday, November 17, 2017
12:15 PM - 1:20 PM



Intermetallic compounds are special alloys that have ordered crystal structures. The formation of the ordered structure is driven by thermodynamic, which means intermetallic compounds are structurally more stable than random alloys. Intermetallic compounds have been used as heterogeneous catalysts and often lead to significantly enhanced selectivity and stability. There are more than 10,000 reported intermetallic compounds of different compositions and structures, while only a very small portion of them have been studied for application in heterogeneous catalysis. Recently, intermetallic compounds also show the promising potential to replace precious metals that are heavily used in heterogeneous catalysis. We recently discovered that intermetallic NaAu2 is catalytically active for CO oxidation at room temperature [1]. With a newly developed ship-in-a-bottle strategy [2,3], we were able to synthesize monodisperse mesoporous silica-encapsulated intermetallic nanoparticles of different compositions [4,5]. The mesoporous silica encapsulation prevents the aggregation of the intermetallic nanoparticles during high- temperature annealing that is often required for the formation of the ordered intermetallic phase. Meanwhile, the mesoporous silica shell does not prevent reactant molecules from accessing the intermetallic surface. Therefore, these mesoporous silica-encapsulated intermetallic nanoparticles provide a robust platform to study different catalytic reactions in a broad temperature regime [5].


  1. (1)  Xiao, C. X.; Wang, L. L.; Maligal-Ganesh, R. V.; Smetana, V.; Walen, H.; Thiel, P. A.; Miller, G. J.; Johnson, D. D.; Huang, W. Y. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 9592-9595.

  2. (2)  Maligal-Ganesh, R. V.; Xiao, C.; Goh, T. W.; Wang, L.-L.; Gustafson, J.; Pei, Y.; Qi, Z.; Johnson, D. D.; Zhang, S.; Tao, F.; Huang, W. ACS Catal. 2016, 6, 1754-1763.

  3. (3)  Pei, Y. C.; Maligal-Ganesh, R. V.; Xiao, C. X.; Goh, T. W.; Brashler, K.; Gustafson, J. A.; Huang, W. Y. Nanoscale 2015, 7, 16721-16728.

  4. (4)  Qi, Z.; Xiao, C.; Liu, C.; Goh, T. W.; Zhou, L.; Maligal-Ganesh, R. V.; Pei, Y.; Li, X.; Curtiss, L. A.; Huang, W. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 4762-4768.

  5. (5)  Zhao, E. W.; Maligal-Ganesh, R.; Xiao, C.; Goh, T. W.; Qi, Z.; Pei, Y.; Hagelin-Weaver, H. E.; Huang, W.; Bowers, C. R. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2017, 56, 3925-3929.

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