The present invention provides a nanocrystal tandem catalyst comprising at least two metal-metal oxide interfaces for the catalysis of sequential reactions. One embodiment utilizes a nanocrystal bilayer structure formed by assembling sub-10 nm platinum and cerium oxide nanocube monolayers on a silica substrate. The two distinct metal-metal oxide interfaces, CeO.sub.2--Pt and Pt--SiO.sub.2, can be used to catalyze two distinct sequential reactions. The CeO.sub.2--Pt interface catalyzed methanol decomposition to produce CO and H.sub.2, which were then subsequently used for ethylene hydroformylation catalyzed by the nearby Pt--SiO.sub.2 interface. Consequently, propanal was selectively produced on this nanocrystal bilayer tandem catalyst.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to the Regents of the University of California for the operation and management of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The government has certain rights in this invention.