The Development of Yolk–Shell-Structured Pd&ZnO@Carbon Submicroreactors with High Selectivity and Stability

Hao Tian, Fei Huang, Yihan Zhu, Shaomin Liu, Yu Han, Mietek Jaroniec, Qihua Yang, Hongyang Liu*, Gao Qing Max Lu, Jian Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Design of multicomponent yolk–shell structures is crucial for the fabrication of micro/nanoreactors for a variety of applications. This work reports the rational design and synthesis of yolk–shell-structured submicroreactors with loaded metal nanoparticles into ZnO–microporous carbon core–shell structures. The solvothermal treatment and carbonization process of uniform zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8)@resin polymer core–shell structures leads to the generation of yolk–shell-structured ZnO@carbon. The synthesis conditions are optimized to track the evolution of ZIF-8 in a confined space of resin polymer as a submicroreactor itself. It is found that nanoribbon evolution occurs via the formation of the intermediate needle-like particles. The Pd&ZnO@carbon submicroreactor is shown to be a highly selective catalyst (selectivity >99%) for hydrogenation of phenylacetylene to phenylethylene. The excellent performance of Pd&ZnO@carbon particles is evidenced by higher conversion and selectivity than that of Pd/ZnO and Pd/C with similar Pd loading. Furthermore, Pd&ZnO@carbon submicroreactors show superior catalytic stability, and no deactivation after 25 h of reaction. The proposed strategy is promising for the design of multifunctional micro/nanoreactors or nanocontainers for construction of artificial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1801737
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 8 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the Curtin University Electron Microscope Laboratories, partially funded by the University, State and Commonwealth Governments. The authors also wish to thank the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation & Analysis, the University of Western Australia, funded by the University, State and Commonwealth Governments. This work was partially financially supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through Discovery Project program (DP180100568) and Linkage Project program (LP150101158). J.L. gratefully acknowledges the support of Chinese Government 1000 young talent plan. H.T. gratefully acknowledges the support of Curtin Strategic International Research Scholarship, Curtin University Mobility Scholarship and Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad. H.T. would also like to thank Prof. Martin Saunders and Dr. Aaron Dodd for TEM training from CMCA in UWA and Dr. Chi Zhang for XRD test. H.L. acknowledges the Ministry of Science and Technology (2016YFA0204100), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21573254 and 91545110), the Youth Innovation Promotion Association(CAS), and the Sinopec China. The authors would like to thank Prof. Can Li for fruitful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • metal–organic frameworks
  • phenylacetylene hydrogenation
  • submicroreactors
  • yolk–shell particles
  • zeolite imidazolate frameworks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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