"Naked" metal nanoparticles (NPs) are thermodynamically and kinetically unstable in solution. Ligands, surfactants, or polymers, which adsorb at a particle's surface, can be used to stabilize NPs; however, such a mode of stabilization is undesirable for catalytic applications because the adsorbates block the surface active sites. The catalytic activity and the stability of NPs are usually inversely correlated. Here, we describe an example of a bimetallic (PtFe) NP catalyst stabilized by carboxylate surface ligands that bind preferentially to one of the metals (Fe). NPs stabilized by fluorous ligands were found to be remarkably competent in catalyzing the hydrogenation of cinnamaldehyde; NPs stabilized by hydrocarbon ligands were significantly less active. The chain length of the fluorous ligands played a key role in determining the chemoselectivity of the FePt NP catalysts. (Chemical Presented). © 2015 American Chemical Society.
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