A regression analysis with laboratory validation for the use of reverse micelles to achieve desired nanosized catalytically active sites

Nano-sized catalytic sites can be synthesized using reverse micelles to systematically deposit active metal species onto catalyst supports. The size of these metallic sites is influenced by the synthesis conditions, namely the water to surfactant molar ratio, the surfactant concentrations, and the surfactant type. These parameters can be adjusted to create tunable micro-structures that are catalytically active for specific chemical reactions. From a literature search, the size of catalytic sites was compiled against their respective synthesis conditions. A regression analysis was performed to investigate which parameters had significant effects on the size of the catalytic site. Initial laboratory tests were then carried out using the regression results to develop nano-nickel sites deposited onto TiO2. According to the model, specific surfactant/solvent combinations (i.e. AOT/cyclohexane) and the water to surfactant molar ratio had profound impacts on the size of the produced catalytic site.