Amine-functionalized siloxane oligomer facilitated synthesis of subnanometer colloidal Au particles†
Amine-functionalized siloxane oligomers were synthesized and used successfully to prepare colloidal Au particles smaller than 1 nm. Using NMR to follow the interaction of Au(THT)Cl with the functionalized siloxane, it was determined that the amine ligands displaced the THT ligand effectively. By comparison with other functionalized siloxane oligomers/compound, parameters such as density of ligating groups, oligomer steric barrier and reduction rates were found to be essential for the formation and stability of subnanometer Au particles. Without further treatment, the formed Au particles were active catalysts for the reduction of p-nitrobenzaldehyde by triethylsilane, forming an imine as the major coupling product. Deposition of the Au colloids onto silica, followed by thermal treatment to remove the organic groups resulted in subnanometer Au on silica, indicating this to be a promising method of fabricating subnanometer supported Au catalyst.