Cobalt Single-Atom-Intercalated Molybdenum Disulfide for Sulfide Oxidation with Exceptional Chemoselectivity

Zhongxin Chen, Cuibo Liu, Jia Liu, Jing Li, Shibo Xi, Xiao Chi, Haisen Xu, In Hyeok Park, Xinwen Peng, Xing Li, Wei Yu, Xiaowang Liu, Linxin Zhong, Kai Leng, Wei Huang, Ming Joo Koh, Kian Ping Loh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The identification of chemoselective oxidation process en route to fine chemicals and specialty chemicals is a long-standing pursuit in chemical synthesis. A vertically structured, cobalt single atom-intercalated molybdenum disulfide catalyst (Co1-in-MoS2) is developed for the chemoselective transformation of sulfides to sulfone derivatives. The single-atom encapsulation alters the electron structure of catalyst owing to confinement effect and strong metal–substrate interaction, thus enhancing adsorption of sulfides and chemoselective oxidation at the edge sites of MoS2 to achieve excellent yields of up to 99% for 34 examples. The synthetic scopes can be extended to sulfide-bearing alkenes, alkynes, aldehydes, ketones, boronic esters, and amines derivatives as a toolbox for the synthesis of high-value, multifunctional sulfones and late-stage functionalization of pharmaceuticals, e.g., Tamiflu. The synthetic utility of cobalt single atom-intercalated MoS2, together with its reusability, scalability, and simplified purification process, renders it promising for industrial productions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1906437
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • chemoselective transformation
  • electrochemical intercalation
  • organic catalysis
  • single-atom materials
  • transition metal dichalcogenides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this