Over 75 percent of chemical synthesis utilizes catalysts. During catalytic reactions, reactants compete for active surface sites, leading to unstable, high energy sites. This causes particle aggregations and reduces catalytic activity. The use of constructs reduces catalyst aggregation, but these silica-based materials demonstrate poor stability in extreme conditions.
This new material is a robust diamond-polymer construct which demonstrates improved stability in a variety of reaction conditions. The catalytic nanoparticle has a nanodiamond core, with a thin-layer polymer applied to the outer surface of the core and a catalyst immobilized outside of the polymer film. Radical initiated polymerization modifies the surface of the diamond to allow compatibility and adhesion for catalytic materials. The diamond interior is nearly indestructible mechanically and will not react to acids, bases, solvents, or moderately elevated temperatures. The polymer exterior is also chemically robust and stable, making it suitable for industrial, biological, aqueous, and nonpolar catalysis reactions.