Development and Applications of Surface-Confined Transition Metal Complexes : Heterogeneous Catalysis and Anisotropic Particle Surfaces

Abstract: The main focus of this thesis has been directed towards developing novel surface-confined transition metal complexes for applications in heterogeneous catalysis and for the preparation of anisotropic particle surfaces. The first part describes the heterogenization of a homogeneous transition metal-based catalyst tetraphenyl cobalt porphyrin (CoTPP) on silicon wafers and on silica particles. The activity in hydroquinone oxidation for the silica particle-immobilized CoTPPs was found to be increased 100-fold compared to its homogeneous congener whereas the silicon wafer-immobilized CoTPPs achieved lower activity due to the formation of clusters of catalyst molecules on the support surface as detected with atomic force microscopy (AFM). The second part of this thesis describes the development and characterization of anisotropic particle-surfaces by electrochemical site-specific oxidation of surface-confined thiols. Reactive patches or gold gradients could be obtained on the particle surfaces depending on the type of working electrode used and on the electrolyte composition. The particle surface functionalities were characterized with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and the particle-surface-confined patches and gradients were conjugated with proteins to obtain fluorescence for investigation using fluorescence microscopy. Gold-functionalized siliceous mesocellular foams were further demonstrated to be highly efficient and selective catalysts in the cycloisomerization of 4-alkynoic acids to lactones. The final part of this thesis describes the preparation and characterization of palladium nanoparticles heterogenized in the pores of siliceous mesocellular foam. The nanoparticles were analyzed with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and found to have a size of 1-2 nm. Primary- and secondary benzylic- and allylic alcohols were oxidized by the heterogeneous palladium nanoparticles in high to excellent yields using air atmosphere as the oxygen source. The nanopalladium catalyst was used up to five times without any decrease in activity and the size of the nanoparticles was retained according to TEM.