sp2/sp3 framework from diamond nanocrystals: A key bridge of carbonaceous structure to carbocatalysis

Author Identifier

Professor Hongqi Sun


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

ACS Catalysis


American Chemical Society


School of Engineering




Australian Research Council (Grant No. DP190103548); Fundamental Research Funds for National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21777033); Science and Technology Program of Guangdong Province (Grant No. 2017B020216003).

Grant Number

ARC Number : DP190103548


Duan, X., Tian, W., Zhang, H., Sun, H., Ao, Z., Shao, Z., & Wang, S. (2019). sp2/sp3 framework from diamond nanocrystals: A key bridge of carbonaceous structure to carbocatalysis. ACS Catalysis, 9(8), 7494-7519. Available here


Diamond nanocrystals in robust sp3 hybridization are appealing carbonaceous materials in the material community, whose structure can be transformed into unique sp2/sp3 nanohybrids as bulky nanodiamonds (NDs) and sp2 concentric onion-like carbons. Functionalized NDs have been used as carbocatalysts to drive a diversity of heterogeneous reactions, presenting promising catalytic performances, great stability/durability, and low toxicity compared with other carbonaceous and metal materials. More importantly, the tunable configurations of NDs-related materials from sp3 to sp2/sp3 and sp2 carbons endow them as ideal chemical probes to elucidate the intrinsic nature toward metal-free catalysis. Herein, a comprehensive overview is presented in the synthesis, properties, functionalization, and characterization of NDs-based materials as well as their recent applications in fuel cell reactions, carbon dioxide reduction, photocatalysis, organic synthesis, oxidative dehydrogenation reactions, and advanced oxidation processes. More importantly, we provide an insightful discussion on unveiling the intrinsic catalytic centers and structure–reactivity chemistry of NDs in redox reactions from an atomic level. Advanced protocols were proposed for regulating the electronic structures of NDs by surface and structural engineering toward better carbocatalysis, which assists to provide valuable guidance for the rational design of ND-based materials toward target catalytic processes. Finally, future research opportunities were proposed to address the current dilemmas in materials synthesis, to facilitate mechanistic studies by theoretical computations, to enable structural/surface functionalization of NDs for advanced catalysis, and to expand the NDs-based materials toward other promising chemical reactions.



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