Fabrication of 3-D confined spaces with Au NPs: Superior dispersion and catalytic activity

Fazle Subhan*, Sobia Aslam, Zifeng Yan, Ayaz Ahmad, U. J. Etim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) as an active noble-metal site have received great attention because of its superior catalytic activity in diverse reactions. However, the activity of Au NPs is strongly dependent on its size and dispersion degree. Therefore, we developed an efficient solid-state reduction (SSR) strategy for the first time to promote the dispersion degree and size of Au NPs in template-occluded KIT-6 (AK) as a support by taking advantage of (i) 3-dimentonal cubic mesoporous structure of support (ii) confined spaces present between template (Pluronic (P) 123) and silica wall of AK where Au NPs locate (iii) interaction of both P123 as template and silica walls of AK with Au NPs highly efficient for Au NPs dispersion and (iv) SSR strategy which avoids competitive adsorption of solvent in the conventional fabrication process. The results revealed that Au-based AK (AuAK) has much better dispersion of Au NPs with smaller sizes than template-free KIT-6 (CK). Moreover, the catalytic activity of AuAK in reduction reactions of p-nitrophenol (P-NP) to p-aminophenol (P-AP) and Methylene blue (MB) to Leuco MB (LMB) is superior than AuCK as well as to those Au-catalysts synthesized via conventional strategies previously. The catalytic performance is also related well with characterization results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-D confined spaces
  • Au NPs
  • Catalytic reduction
  • KIT-6
  • SSR strategy


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