The formation of small 1 to 3 nm organic-ligand free metal-oxide nanocrystals (NCs) is essential to utilization of their attractive size-dependent properties in electronic devices and catalysis. We now report that hexaniobate cluster-anions, [Nb6O19]8−, can arrest the growth of metal-oxide NCs and stabilize them as water-soluble complexes. This is exemplified by formation of hexaniobate-complexed 2.4-nm monoclinic-phase CuO NCs (1), whose ca. 350 Cu-atom cores feature quantum-confinement effects that impart an unprecedented ability to catalyze visible-light water oxidation with no added photosensitizers or applied potentials, and at rates exceeding those of hematite NCs. The findings point to polyoxoniobate-ligand entrapment as a potentially general method for harnessing the size-dependent properties of very small semiconductor NCs as the cores of versatile, entirely-inorganic complexes.
|Journal||Angewandte Chemie - International Edition|
|State||Published - 1 Mar 2023|
- Copper Oxide
- Hexaniobate Anion
- Water Oxidation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (all)