CO combustion on supported gold clusters

Chemphyschem. 2006 Sep 11;7(9):1871-9. doi: 10.1002/cphc.200600029.


Recent progress in the understanding of the fascinating catalysis of CO combustion by supported gold particles is summarized. Focusing on size-selected gold clusters consisting of only a few atoms, that is, the size regime with properties nonscalable from the bulk properties, we discuss the current knowledge of the different factors controlling the reactivity at the molecular level. These factors include the role of the oxide support, its defects, cluster charging as well as the structural fluxionality of clusters, the cluster size dependency, and the promotional effect of water. By combining experimental results with quantum mechanical ab initio calculations, a detailed picture of the reaction mechanism emerges. While similar mechanisms might be active for gold nanoparticles in the scalable size regime, it is shown that for different systems (defined by the cluster size, the support, experimental conditions, etc.) the reaction mechanism differs and, hence, no generalized explanation for the catalytic driving force of small gold particles can be given.