Catalytically Active Bimetallic Nanoparticles Supported on Porous Carbon Capsules Derived From Metal–Organic Framework Composites

We report a new methodology for producing monometallic or bimetallic nanoparticles confined within hollow nitrogen-doped porous carbon capsules. The capsules are derived from metal–organic framework (MOF) crystals that are coated with a shell of a secondary material comprising either a metal–tannic acid coordination polymer or a resorcinol–formaldehyde polymer. Platinum nanoparticles are optionally sandwiched between the MOF core and the shell. Pyrolysis of the MOF–shell composites produces hollow capsules of porous nitrogen-doped carbon that bear either monometallic (Pt, Co, and Ni) or alloyed (PtCo and PtNi) metal nanoparticles. The Co and Ni components of the bimetallic nanoparticles are derived from the shell surrounding the MOF crystals. The hollow capsules prevent sintering and detachment of the nanoparticles, and their porous walls allow for efficient mass transport. Alloyed PtCo nanoparticles embedded in the capsule walls are highly active, selective, and recyclable catalysts for the hydrogenation of nitroarenes to anilines.