On the High Sensitivity of the Electronic States of 1 nm Gold Particles to Pretreatments and Modifiers

Molecules. 2016 Mar 31;21(4):432. doi: 10.3390/molecules21040432.


In this paper, the effect of modifiers and pretreatments on the electronic states of 1 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) supported on silica was systematically studied. AuNPs deposited on silica (particle size of 2-4 nm) modified with Ce, La and Fe oxides, were studied by FTIR of adsorbed CO after different redox treatments at 100, 300 and 500 °C. This study was conducted at room temperature to allow detecting the electronic states of gold, which is more likely involved in CO oxidation at the same temperature. AuNP size distribution was measured by HRTEM. It is shown that the electronic state of gold species (Aun(δ-), Au⁰, Aun(δ+), Au⁺) in 1 nm AuNPs is sensitive to the modifier as well as to the temperatures of redox pretreatments. Supports modified with the same additives but containing larger AuNPs (~3, 4, 5, and 7 nm) were also studied. They showed that Au⁰ remains stable irrespective of additives and redox pretreatments, indicating no significant effect of such treatments on the electronic properties of larger AuNPs. Samples with a predominant AuNP size of 2 nm are an intermediate case between these two groups of materials.

Keywords: 1 nm gold; FTIR CO; electron stage of gold; sensitivity to pretreatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Electrons
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Particle Size
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Temperature


  • Gold
  • Silicon Dioxide