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Catalytically highly active top gold atom on palladium nanocluster


Catalysis using gold is emerging as an important field of research in connection with ‘green’ chemistry1,2,3. Several hypotheses have been presented to explain the markedly high activities of Au catalysts4,5,6,7,8,9,10. So far, the origin of the catalytic activities of supported Au catalysts can be assigned to the perimeter interfaces between Au nanoclusters and the support11. However, the genesis of the catalytic activities of colloidal Au-based bimetallic nanoclusters is unclear. Moreover, it is still a challenge to synthesize Au-based colloidal catalysts with high activity. Here we now present the ‘crown-jewel’ concept (Supplementary Fig. S1) for preparation of catalytically highly Au-based colloidal catalysts. Au–Pd colloidal catalysts containing an abundance of top (vertex or corner) Au atoms were synthesized according to the strategy on a large scale. Our results indicate that the genesis of the high activity of the catalysts could be ascribed to the presence of negatively charged top Au atoms.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Experimental characterization and theoretical modelling of CJ-Au/Pd NCs.
Figure 3: Comparison of the catalytic activity of CJ-Au/Pd, Au, Pd and Pd/Au alloy NCs for aerobic glucose oxidation.
Figure 4: Theoretical electronic calculation of Pd and CJ-Au/Pd NCs containing 55 atoms.


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This work was financially supported by Grants-in-Aid from the Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) program sponsored by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

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M.H. and N.T. planned the project, H.Z. designed and carried out experiments and data analyses, T.W. helped with ICP data analyses, M.O. carried out DFT calculation, N.T. proposed and supervised the project and H.Z. and N.T. prepared the manuscript. All the authors participated in discussion of the research.

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Correspondence to Naoki Toshima.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Zhang, H., Watanabe, T., Okumura, M. et al. Catalytically highly active top gold atom on palladium nanocluster. Nature Mater 11, 49–52 (2012).

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