The key role of Au-substrate interactions in catalytic gold subnanoclusters


J. Cordón, G. Jiménez-Osés, J.M. López-de-Luzuriaga  & M. Monge

The work conducted at Rioja University refers to the transient stabilization of very small gold subnanoclusters (Aun, n < 5) by alkyl chains or aromatic groups appended to the reactive π bond of simple alkynes. A cooperative network of dispersive Au•••C–H and/or Au•••π interactions, supported by quantum mechanical calculations and time-resolved luminescence experiments, is proposed to be at the origin of this stabilization. This approach provides an effective way to outcompete catalyst aggregation while retaining its high reactivity toward the desired reaction, eliminating the need of exogenous matrices and nanoparticle stabilizers. Full article is available at DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01675-1

Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01675-1