Our aim in this review is to assess key recent findings that point to atomically dispersed noble metals as catalytic sites on solid supports, which may be viewed as ligands bonded to the metal. Both zeolites and open metal oxide supports are considered; the former offer the advantages of uniform, crystalline structures to facilitate fundamental understanding, and the latter offer numerous advantages in applications. The notion of strong interactions between metals and supports has resurfaced in the recent literature to explain how subnanometer clusters and even atoms of noble metals such as platinum and gold survive under often harsh reaction conditions on some supports, such as ceria and perovskites. Individual cations of platinum, palladium, rhodium, or other metals anchored to supports through M–O bonds can be formed on these supports in configurations that are stable and catalytically active for several reactions illustrated here, notably, oxidation and reduction. The development of effective synthesis methods and the identification of suitable stabilizers and promoters are expected to lead to the increasing application of atomically dispersed noble metal catalysts for practical processes characterized by efficient resource utilization and cost savings.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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