The gold-sulfur interface at the nanoscale

Nat Chem. 2012 May 22;4(6):443-55. doi: 10.1038/nchem.1352.


Thiolate-protected gold surfaces and interfaces, relevant for self-assembled monolayers of organic molecules on gold, for passivated gold nanoclusters and for molecule-gold junctions, are archetypal systems in various fields of current nanoscience research, materials science, inorganic chemistry and surface science. Understanding this interface at the nanometre scale is essential for a wide range of potential applications for site-specific bioconjugate labelling and sensing, drug delivery and medical therapy, functionalization of gold surfaces for sensing, molecular recognition and molecular electronics, and gold nanoparticle catalysis. During the past five years, considerable experimental and theoretical advances have furthered our understanding of the molecular structure of the gold-sulfur interface in these systems. This Review discusses the recent progress from the viewpoint of theory and computations, with connections to relevant experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nanotechnology*
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / chemistry
  • Sulfur / chemistry*
  • Surface Properties


  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Sulfur
  • Gold