The present communication reports a scientific investigation of a simple and versatile synthetic route for the synthesis of palladium nanoparticles decorated with copper oxide and supported on reduced graphene oxide (rGO). They are used as a highly active catalyst of Suzuki, Heck, and Sonogashira cross coupling reactions with a remarkable turnover number of 7000 and a turnover frequency of 85000 h-1. The Pd-CuO nanoparticles supported on reduced graphene oxide nanosheets (Pd-CuO/rGO) exhibit an outstanding performance through a high catalytic activity towards cross coupling reactions. A simple, reproducible, and reliable method is used to prepare this efficient catalyst using microwave irradiation synthetic conditions. The synthesis approach requires a simultaneous reduction of palladium and copper nitrates in presence of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets using hydrazine hydrate as a strong reducing agent. The highly active and recyclable catalyst has many advantages including mild reaction conditions and short reaction durations in an environmentally benign solvent system. Moreover, the catalyst prepared can be recycled for up to five times with nearly identical high catalytic activity. Furthermore, the high catalytic activity and the recyclability of the catalyst prepared are due to the strong catalyst-support interaction. The defect sites of the reduced graphene oxide (rGO) act as nucleation centers that enable anchoring of both Pd and CuO nanoparticles and hence, minimize the possibility of agglomeration which leads to a severe decrease of the catalytic activity.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Publication Status

Open Access

Keywords and Phrases

Catalyst recycling; Copper oxide; Cross-coupling; Graphene; Heterogeneous catalysis; Microwave-assisted synthesis

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1314-7978; 1314-7471

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Jan 2019