Pico-gold clusters break catalysis record

Published in Chemistry World, 14 Dec 2012

Chemists in Spain have shown that small clusters of gold atoms are excellent inorganic catalysts with record-breaking efficiency. The clusters, which have been used in the hydration of alkynes, exhibit catalytic turnover frequencies of up to 100,000 per hour at room temperature.

Interest in gold as a catalyst began 25 years ago when chemists realized that nano-sized gold particles could catalyse the oxidation of carbon monoxide better than anything previously known. Since then, gold has been found to catalyse a host of other important reactions, such as the formation of azo compounds, which are used as leather and textile dyes, or intermediates for the production of polyurethane. […]

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