Bing An†, Jingzheng Zhang†, Kang Cheng†, Pengfei Ji, Cheng Wang*, Wenbin Lin*
The interfaces of Cu/ZnO and Cu/ZrO2 play vital roles in the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol by these composite catalysts. Surface structural reorganization and particle growth during catalysis deleteriously reduce these active interfaces, diminishing both catalytic activities and MeOH selectivities. Here we report the use of preassembled bpy and Zr6(μ3-O)4(μ3-OH)4 sites in UiO-bpy metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to anchor ultrasmall Cu/ZnOx nanoparticles, thus preventing the agglomeration of Cu NPs and phase separation between Cu and ZnOx in MOF-cavity-confined Cu/ZnOx nanoparticles. The resultant Cu/ZnOx@MOF catalysts show very high activity with a space–time yield of up to 2.59 gMeOH kgCu–1 h–1, 100% selectivity for CO2 hydrogenation to methanol, and high stability over 100 h. These new types of strong metal–support interactions between metallic nanoparticles and organic chelates/metal-oxo clusters offer new opportunities in fine-tuning catalytic activities and selectivities of metal nanoparticles@MOFs.