Morphology-dependent catalytic properties of nanocupric oxides in the Rochow reaction

Yu Zhang, Yongjun Ji*, Jing Li, Hezhi Liu, Xiao Hu, Ziyi Zhong, Fabing Su

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Four kinds of CuO catalysts with well-controlled leaf-like (L-CuO), flower-like (F-CuO), sea-urchin-like (U-CuO), and oatmeal-like (O-CuO) morphologies were synthesized by a facile precipitation method assisted by various chelating ligands. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and fast Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that the dominant crystal facets of L-CuO, F-CuO, U-CuO, and O-CuO were {001}, {(image found)10}, {001}, and {110}, as well as {001} and {1(image found)10}, respectively. When tested for the Rochow reaction, it was found that their catalytic performances were dependent on their structures. Among the four CuO catalysts, L-CuO exhibited the best catalytic property, along with the strongest adsorption ability for oxygen and highest reducibility, which are mainly because of its largely exposed {001} facet and large specific surface area. In addition, the amount of the Cu3Si alloy phase, which is the most important reaction intermediate that generated in the reacted region of the Si surface, was measured for the different catalysts. Based on the findings, a detailed reaction mechanism was proposed. This work demonstrates that shape-controlled synthesis of oxide catalysts could be an effective strategy to design and develop efficient catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-819
Number of pages16
JournalNano Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Copper oxide
  • Shape-controlled synthesis
  • Structure–property relationship
  • The Cu3Si alloy phase
  • The Rochow reaction


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