Reactions in Biphasic Systems
Particles that lie at the water-oil interface are capable of exhibiting many interesting catalytic features that are not possible in a single phase system. Tuning the location of an active site with respect to an oil-water interface can modify the transition state stabilization, transport rates of reactants and products, as well as catalyst deactivation rates in some cases. We have previously shown the promising ability to carry out cascade reactions in such systems, and now our group is focusing on tuning local reaction environments to carry out selective photocatalytic partial oxidation reactions. We also aim to better understand the interesting behavior of carbon nanotubes in these biphasic systems, as the nanotube-nanotube attractive forces allow for remarkable Pickering emulsion stability and stacking of particles at the oil-water interface. More recently, we have begun to focus on responsive catalytic particles as well, such that reaction selectivity as well as catalyst regeneration can be tuned by the introduction of external stimuli.