Simple iron based nanoparticles as magnetically recoverable catalysts

R. Hudson, M.J. Rak, C.M. Cirtiu, A. Moores
McGill University, CA

Keywords: nanoparticles, iron, hydrogenation, oxidation, magnetic recoverability


Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) - separable from products and reaction media by application of an external magnet - have been successfully used in the context of catalysis. Using un-functionalized, bare MNPs, (especially iron-based MNPs) directly as a catalyst in the context of organic chemistry and under mild conditions is a desired approach, due to the simplicity of the NPs synthesis, as well as their recoverability.1 Iron-iron oxide core-shell NPs (FeCSNPs) are active in the hydrogenation of olefins in ethanol and in mixtures of water and ethanol. 2 These particles can be easily synthized in water-ethanol mixture using NaBH4 as a reducing agent, or produced commercially by grinding. Interestingly this system is more robust to oxidation than classical reduced iron NPs, due to presence of the iron oxide shell. FeCSNPs were also used as seeds, reducers and supports for copper NPs and established their activity as magnetically recoverable alkyne-azide “click” condensation catalysts. 3 1. Polshettiwar, V.; Varma, R. S., Green Chem. 2010, 12 (5), 743-754. 2. Hudson, R.; Rivière, A.; Cirtiu, C. M.; Luska, K. L.; Moores, A., Chem. Comm. 2012, 10.1039/C2CC16438H 3. Hudson, R.; Li, C. J.; Moores, A., Green Chem. 2012, 10.1039/c2gc16421c.