Polyoxometalate-complexed indium hydroxide: Atomically homogeneous impregnation via countercation exchange

Tal Tubul-Sterin, Mark Baranov, Gal Gan-Or, Nitai Leffler, Alevtina Neyman, Ira A. Weinstock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Metal hydroxides catalyze organic transformations and photochemical processes and serve as precursors for the oxide layers of functional multicomponent devices. However, no general methods are available for the preparation of stable water-soluble complexes of metal hydroxide nanocrystals (NCs) that might be more effective in catalysis and serve as versatile precursors for the reproducible fabrication of multicomponent devices. We now report that InIII-substituted monodefect Wells-Dawson (WD) polyoxometalate (POM) cluster anions, [α2-P2W17O61InIIIOH)] 8-, serve as ligands for stable, water-soluble complexes, 1, of platelike, predominantly cubic-phase (dzhalindite) In(OH)3 NCs that after optimization contain ca. 10% InOOH. Images from cryogenic tranmsission electron microscopy reveal numerous WD ligands at the surfaces of platelike NCs, with average dimensions of 17 × 28 × 2 nm, each complexed by an average of ca. 450 InIII-substituted WD cluster anions and charge-balanced by 3600 Na+ countercations. Facilitated by the water solubility of 1, countercation exchange is used to stoichiometrically disperse ca. 1800 Cu2+ ions in an atomically homogeneous fashion around the surfaces of each NC core. The utility of this impregnation method is illustrated by using the ion-exchanged material as an electrocatalyst that reduces CO2 to CO 15 times faster per milligram of Cu than does K6Cu[P2CuII (H2O)W17O61] (control) alone. More generally, the findings point to POM complexation as a promising method for stabilizing and solubilizing reactive d-, p-, and f-block metal hydroxide NCs and for enabling their utilization as versatile components in the fabrication of functional multicomponent materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1804-1812
Number of pages9
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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