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A hot bath for gold nanoparticles
July 29, 2011
Gold nanoparticles, says Chris Kiely, are fast becoming some of the most effective diplomats of the nanoworld.
They facilitate a wide range of chemical reactions between molecules that would not normally interact or would do so only at much higher temperatures.
And in most cases, they effect a single favorable outcome with few, if any, unwanted side reactions.
In short, says Kiely, a professor of materials science and engineering, the nanoparticles are extremely good catalysts.
Conventional methods of preparing gold nanoparticles, however, alter the morphology and catalytic activity of the particles.
Now, an international team of researchers has developed a procedure that enhances the surface exposure of gold nanoparticles and their catalytic activity over a range of reactions.
A new procedure improves on convention
The team reported its results in July in Nature Chemistry in an article titled “Facile removal of stabilizer-ligands from supported gold nanoparticles.”
Its members include Kiely and Graham Hutchings, a chemist at Cardiff University in Wales in the U.K., who have studied nanogold together for more than a decade.
“In industry,” says Kiely, “the most common way of preparing gold nanocatalysts is to first impregnate a nanocrystalline oxide support, such as titanium oxide (TiO2) with chloroauric acid. A reduction reaction then converts the acid into metal nanoparticles.
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