Oxidative decomposition of Au25(SR)18 clusters in a catalytic context†
Gold nanoparticle catalysis of chemical transformations has emerged as a subject of intense interest over the past decade. In particular, Au25(SR)18 has emerged as a model catalyst. In an effort to investigate their potential as intact, homogeneous, unsupported catalysts, we have discovered that Au25(SR)18 clusters are not stable in oxidizing conditions reported for catalytic styrene oxidation. Further investigation suggests that the active catalytic species is an Au(I) species resulting from oxidative decomposition of the starting gold cluster. This conclusion appears independent of R-group on thiolate-ligated Au25(SR)18 clusters.