Catalysis of Gold Nanoparticles Deposited on Metal Oxides
Gold in bulk is chemically inert and has often been regarded to be poorly active as a catalyst. However, when gold is small enough—with particle diameters below 10 nm—it turns out to be surprisingly active for many reactions, such as CO oxidation and propylene epoxidation. This is especially so at low temperatures. Here, a summary of the catalysis of Au nanoparticles deposited on base metal oxides is presented. The catalytic performance of Au is defined by three major factors: contact structure, support selection, and particle size, the first of which being the most important because the perimeter interfaces around Au particles act as the site for reaction.