Synthetic and Molecular Aspects of Gold Catalysis

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Synthetic and Molecular Aspects of Gold Catalysis
Michele Rossi
University of Milano
ABSTRACT.
The progress in the last decade of gold catalysis for liquid phase oxidation is reviewed focusing the
attention on the research carried out in our Department. Starting from the observation that oxygen
activation towards organic compounds occurs only in the presence of nanometric gold clusters, the
outstanding properties of colloidal particles are discussed. From kinetic studies, models for the
aerobic oxidation of glucose are proposed in order to derive information on the molecular
mechanism. Application of supported gold catalyst has mainly been devoted to the oxidation of
alcohols and aldehydes, and several examples outline the superior properties of this metal
concerning activity, selectivity and durability in comparison with traditional Pd and Pt catalysts.
Perspectives for industrial application of supported gold nanoparticles are also discussed.