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.