Congratulations to Xiaomin Ren whose paper on Microenvironment Engineering of Ruthenium Nanoparticles Incorporated into Silica Nanoreactors for Enhanced Hydrogenationshas been published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (DOI: 10.1002/ange.201908602 )
It is a challenging task to promote the activity and selectivity of a catalyst via precisely engineering the microenvironment, an important factor related with the catalytic performance of natural catalysts. Motivated by the water effect in promoting the catalytic activity explored in this work, a nanoreactor modified with phosphine ligand enabled the efficient hydrogenation of benzoic acid (BA) over Ru nanoparticles (NPs) in organic solvent under mild conditions, which cannot be achieved in unmodified nanoreactors. Both density functional theory (DFT) calculations and catalytic performance tests showed that the phosphine ligands can manipulate the adsorption strength of BA on Ru NPs by tuning the surface
properties as well as preferentially interacting with the carboxyl of BA. The insights obtained in the present study provide a novel concept of nanoreactor design by anchoring ligandsnear catalytically active centers.