skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Non-Transition-Metal Catalytic System for N2 Reduction to NH3: A Density Functional Theory Study of Al-Doped Graphene

Abstract

The prevalent catalysts for natural and artificial N2 fixation are known to hinge upon transition-metal (TM) elements. In this paper, we demonstrate by density functional theory that Al-doped graphene is a potential non-TM catalyst to convert N2 to NH3 in the presence of relatively mild proton/electron sources. In the integrated structure of the catalyst, the Al atom serves as a binding site and catalytic center while the graphene framework serves as an electron buffer during the successive proton/electron additions to N2 and its various downstream NxHy intermediates. The initial hydrogenation of N2 can readily take place via an internal H-transfer process with the assistance of a Li+ ion as an additive. Finally, in view of the recurrence of H transfer in the first step of N2 reduction observed in biological nitrogenases and other synthetic catalysts, this finding highlights the significance of heteroatom-assisted H transfer in the design of synthetic catalysts for N2 fixation.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Sichuan Univ., Chengdu (China). Research Center of Analytical Instrumentation. College of Life Sciences
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. Computational Sciences & Engineering Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
OSTI Identifier:
1422604
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-05CH11231; 21443012
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1948-7185
Publisher:
American Chemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Citation Formats

Tian, Yong-Hui, Hu, Shuangli, Sheng, Xiaolan, Duan, Yixiang, Jakowski, Jacek, Sumpter, Bobby G., and Huang, Jingsong. Non-Transition-Metal Catalytic System for N2 Reduction to NH3: A Density Functional Theory Study of Al-Doped Graphene. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b03094.
Tian, Yong-Hui, Hu, Shuangli, Sheng, Xiaolan, Duan, Yixiang, Jakowski, Jacek, Sumpter, Bobby G., & Huang, Jingsong. Non-Transition-Metal Catalytic System for N2 Reduction to NH3: A Density Functional Theory Study of Al-Doped Graphene. United States. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b03094.
Tian, Yong-Hui, Hu, Shuangli, Sheng, Xiaolan, Duan, Yixiang, Jakowski, Jacek, Sumpter, Bobby G., and Huang, Jingsong. Tue . "Non-Transition-Metal Catalytic System for N2 Reduction to NH3: A Density Functional Theory Study of Al-Doped Graphene". United States. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b03094. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1422604.
@article{osti_1422604,
title = {Non-Transition-Metal Catalytic System for N2 Reduction to NH3: A Density Functional Theory Study of Al-Doped Graphene},
author = {Tian, Yong-Hui and Hu, Shuangli and Sheng, Xiaolan and Duan, Yixiang and Jakowski, Jacek and Sumpter, Bobby G. and Huang, Jingsong},
abstractNote = {The prevalent catalysts for natural and artificial N2 fixation are known to hinge upon transition-metal (TM) elements. In this paper, we demonstrate by density functional theory that Al-doped graphene is a potential non-TM catalyst to convert N2 to NH3 in the presence of relatively mild proton/electron sources. In the integrated structure of the catalyst, the Al atom serves as a binding site and catalytic center while the graphene framework serves as an electron buffer during the successive proton/electron additions to N2 and its various downstream NxHy intermediates. The initial hydrogenation of N2 can readily take place via an internal H-transfer process with the assistance of a Li+ ion as an additive. Finally, in view of the recurrence of H transfer in the first step of N2 reduction observed in biological nitrogenases and other synthetic catalysts, this finding highlights the significance of heteroatom-assisted H transfer in the design of synthetic catalysts for N2 fixation.},
doi = {10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b03094},
journal = {Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters},
number = 3,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Structure of the Al-doped graphene (G-Al) models with a C atom in the graphene framework substituted by an Al atom: (a) fragment model C120H27Al; (b) periodic model C127Al. A N2 molecule is ligated to the Al center in an end-on fashion. C, gray; N, blue; Al, pink; H,more » white.« less

Save / Share:
Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.