Activation of metal-carbonyl clusters by their encapsulation within alumina sol-gel matrices

Nino Eliau, David Avnir, Moris S. Eisen, Jochanan Blum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Entrapment of Ru3(CO)12 and Os3(CO) 12 within alumina sol-gel matrices, (obtained by hydrolysis and polycondensation of a THF solution of aluminum isopropoxide) converts these clusters into highly active, leach-proof and recyclable hydrogen transfer catalysts. Likewise Rh2Co2(CO)12 which, in its silica sol-gel entrapped form, neither promotes the isomerization of allylbenzene nor the disproportionation of dihydroarenes, becomes upon its entrapment in an alumina sol-gel matrix, an efficient and recyclable catalyst for these reactions. While the entrapped osmium cluster promotes at 100-110°C and 20 bar only the hydrogenation of alkenes, the ruthenium analog catalyzes also the saturation of the aromatic C-C bonds. The hydrogenations take place via the hydride mechanism. XPS and TEM studies revealed that the carbonyl clusters do not decompose to give detectable amounts of (entrapped) metal particles during the encapsulation as well as during the catalytic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Catalysis
  • Doped alumina sol-gel
  • Hydrogen-transfer reactions
  • Metal carbonyls


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