Rational Design of Bioinspired Nanocomposites with Tunable Catalytic Activity

Hans Hendrikse, Alejo Aguirre, Arno van der Weijden, Anne S. Meeussen, M.F. (Fernanda) Neira d'Angelo (Corresponding author), Willem L. Noorduin (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Biological assembly processes offer inspiration for ordering building blocks across multiple length scales into advanced functional materials. Such bioinspired strategies are attractive for assembling supported catalysts, where shaping and structuring across length scales are essential for their performance but still remain tremendously difficult to achieve. Here, we present a simple bioinspired route toward supported catalysts with tunable activity and selectivity. We coprecipitate shape-controlled nanocomposites with large specific surface areas of barium carbonate nanocrystals that are uniformly embedded in a silica support. Subsequently, we exchange the barium carbonate to cobalt while preserving the nanoscopic layout and microscopic shape, and demonstrate their catalytic performances in the Fischer–Tropsch synthesis as a case study. Control over the crystal size between 10 and 17 nm offers tunable activity and selectivity for shorter (C5–C11) and longer (C20+) hydrocarbons, respectively. Hence, these results open simple, versatile, and scalable routes to tunable and highly reactive bioinspired catalysts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4299–4304
Number of pages6
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number8
Early online date14 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2021


  • catalysis
  • Fischer Tropsch Synthesis


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