All That Glitters Is Not Au0

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Science  15 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5635, pp. 926-927
DOI: 10.1126/science.1088209

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Despite its famed reluctance to react with molecules such as dioxygen, gold has recently been shown to be an excellent catalyst for many chemical reactions. The catalyst generally consists of gold nanoparticles dispersed on an oxide support. In his Perspective, Davis highlights the report by Fu et al., who show that when the gold nanoparticles are removed, leaving only ionic gold atoms on the surface, their catalyst works just as well as with the nanoparticles. The role of ionic metal species in catalysis may extend beyond gold, providing new routes toward highly active catalysts.