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 21.08.2008   Карта сайта     Language По-русски По-английски
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21.08.2008

Nature 454, 981-983 (21 August 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature07194; Received 31 October 2007; Accepted 20 June 2008



Selective oxidation with dioxygen by gold nanoparticle catalysts derived from 55-atom clusters


Mark Turner1, Vladimir B. Golovko1,2, Owain P. H. Vaughan1, Pavel Abdulkin1, Angel Berenguer-Murcia1, Mintcho S. Tikhov1, Brian F. G. Johnson1 & Richard M. Lambert1




  1. Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
  2. Present address: Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.


Correspondence to: Richard M. Lambert1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to R.M.L. (Email: rml1@cam.ac.uk).





Supported gold nanoparticles have excited much interest owing to their unusual and somewhat unexpected catalytic properties1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, but the origin of the catalytic activity is still not fully understood. Experimental work4 on gold particles supported on a titanium dioxide (110) single-crystal surface has established a striking size threshold effect associated with a metal-to-insulator transition, with gold particles catalytically active only if their diameters fall below approx3.5 nm. However, the remarkable catalytic behaviour might also in part arise from strong electronic interaction between the gold and the titanium dioxide support2, 3, 5. In the case of industrially important selective oxidation reactions, explanation of the effectiveness of gold nanoparticle catalysts is complicated by the need for additives to drive the reaction5, 7, 8, and/or the presence of strong support interactions and incomplete understanding of their possible catalytic role1, 2, 3, 5. Here we show that very small gold entities (approx1.4 nm) derived from 55-atom gold clusters and supported on inert materials are efficient and robust catalysts for the selective oxidation of styrene by dioxygen. We find a sharp size threshold in catalytic activity, in that particles with diameters of approx2 nm and above are completely inactive. Our observations suggest that catalytic activity arises from the altered electronic structure intrinsic to small gold nanoparticles, and that the use of 55-atom gold clusters may prove a viable route to the synthesis of robust gold catalysts suited to practical application.



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  • Chen Wev .  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Harton Vladislav Vadim  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Lichtenstain Alexandr Iosif  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Novikov Dimirtii Leonid  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Yakushev Mikhail Vasilii  honorary member of ISSC science council

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