Metal Nanoparticle Catalysis of Diels-Alder Cycloaddition and Dehydrogenation Reactions
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Nanoparticles are now key species in the field of reaction catalysis. The relatively low cost, high efficiency and recyclability has allowed different metal nanoparticles to be used as catalysts in numerous reaction schemes. Herein, silver nanoparticles are used in a Diels-Alder reaction to catalyze the production of the bioactive natural product panduratin A. The nanoparticles assist in the electron transfers during cycloaddition to produce the desired product in a high yield. In the dehydrogenation of magnesium hydride, four transition metal nanoparticles are tested as catalysts to maximize desorption of hydrogen gas. When tested using thermal desorption mass spectroscopy, it was found nickel nanoparticles adsorbed to the surface of magnesium hydride with the highest dehydrogenation yield. These two experiments show silver and nickel nanoparticles are effective catalysts for cycloadditions and dehydrogenation, respectively, through analysis of reaction rates, product yield, and catalyst viability.
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