Single-atom catalysts are of great interest because they can maximize the atom-utilization efficiency and generate unique catalytic properties; however, much attention has been paid to single-site active components, rarely to catalyst promoters. Promoters can significantly affect the activity and selectivity of a catalyst, even at their low concentrations in catalysts. In this work, we designed and synthesized CuO catalysts with atomically dispersed co-promoters of Sn and Zn. When used as the catalyst in the Rochow reaction for the synthesis of dimethyldichlorosilane, this catalyst exhibited much-enhanced activity, selectivity and stability compared with the conventional CuO catalysts with promoters in the form of nanoparticles. Density functional theory calculations demonstrate that single-atomic Sn substitution in the CuO surface can enrich surface Cu vacancies and promote dispersion of Zn to its atomic levels. Sn and Zn single sites as the co-promoters cooperatively generate electronic interaction with the CuO support, which further facilitates the adsorption of the reactant molecules on the surface, thereby leading to the superior catalytic performance.
- CuO catalyst
- Rochow reaction
- catalytic performance
- dimethyldichlorosilane synthesis
- dual single-atom promoters